Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Tour + Review: A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers





A Little Too Hot (A Little Too Far #3) by Lisa Desrochers

Release Date: January 21, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse (HarperCollins)
Pages:
Format: eBook
Source: ARC for Tour
Goodreads  Amazon • B&N  iTunes  Play

From USA Today bestselling author Lisa Desrochers, comes the third book in her sizzling New Adult series.

If you play with fire…

Tossed out of college and cut off by her parents, Samantha West is in pretty dire straits. So when her rocker best friend hooks her up with a job dancing at a gentlemen’s club, who is she to turn it down? Plus, there are rules to dancing at Benny’s: No touching, keep your clothes on at all times, and never get closer than three feet. Unfortunately for Sam, her first private client makes her want to break every single one of them.

Harrison Yates is scorching hot, but he’s got a past that involves being left at the altar not too long ago. Sam is determined to make him forget about his ex, but when she makes her move, it flings her life into a spiral of chaos she never saw coming.

Because Harrison Yates isn’t who he seems to be. And his secret will probably get her killed.


Praise for A LITTLE TOO HOT

“Every page is deliciously breathtaking, wickedly sexy and sensational. A LITTLE TOO HOT is wonderfully unique and a LOT HOT! I am a HUGE Lisa Desrochers fan.”
   — Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author of REAL, MINE, and REMY

“Lisa is brilliant at creating sizzling sexual tension and impossible circumstances that make the reader hold their breath all the way to happy ever after. Sam and Harrison are more than A Little Too Hot, they are scorching!"
   — Jay Crownover, New York Times bestselling author of RULE, JET, and ROME

“Lisa Desrochers’ best yet! A LITTLE TOO HOT is hotter than hot with all the emotional punch to back it up!”
   — Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author


This book is like the ultimate reviewer challenge—it's incredible with an epic twist that I certainly didn't see coming and changes the entire trajectory of the story. And it occurs just over a quarter of the way in. I've seen reviews that give it away and those that don't, but I would never spoil this because it. Is. Awesome. So now I get to be wonderfully vague while still trying to convey just how much you need to read this book.

For those who haven't read my reviews of A Little Too Far and A Little Too Much, I absolutely love this series. I swear, with each book it gets better and better, each subsequent review I end up declaring my new favorite. A Little Too Hot was no exception to this rule.

We first met Sam in A Little Too Far and she was, to put it mildly, less than endearing. She came across as overly boy crazy and extremely self-centered within the book and her relationships with Trent and Lexie. That was my one concern going into this book—that my dislike of Sam would carry through and not allow me to enjoy the story. Since then, her life seems to have been in a constant downward spiral, which served to make me even more nervous, because it's a character arc that can be very shaky for me. But I needn't have worried.

Despite being a bit of a hot mess, it didn't take long for Sam's more likable qualities to shine through. She's feisty, strong, and capable, even though she's lost her way. It took almost no time to start rooting for her and to realize that she's much more sensitive and loving than she likes to show others. That made it even harder to see her continue falling until she ends up dancing as a last resort.

And this brings us to Harrison. He's in the club where Sam starts working and she immediately takes notice. The tension and raw attraction between them was amazing and so gripping from the beginning. It's just truly intense chemistry and will keep you invested and interested for the long haul.

Then there's the twist. It's major. I got to the page and must've stared for a solid couple of minutes before I could keep going. I truly never saw it coming and ended up enjoying the story even more because of it. The results are massive for Sam but it really helps to convince her to get her life back on track. And the relationship between Sam and Harrison gets to move past sexual heat and really develop into something just as smokin' but infinitely more special.

Finally, there's a healthy dose of action that wasn't really a part of the first two books, but really fit and rounded out this one. The stakes are certainly higher for Sam than they were for the first two female leads of the series. Speaking of which, Lexie and Trent and Hilary and Alessandro make cameos and it's adorable!

Overall, A Little Too Hot was a fantastic continuation of the series, but can definitely be enjoyed as a stand alone. So wherever you're at in the series, be sure to check it out! Sam's story is an intense, sexy story that, at it's core, is all about growing up and taking ownership of your life. And who doesn't love that?



Giveaway!




Tour Schedule

Week One: Day One

Jan. 20th - Page Turners Blog - Review + Excerpt
Jan. 20th - Lost in Literature - Review
Jan. 20th - The Reading Cafe - Review + Guest Post
Jan. 20th - City of Books - Review
Jan. 20th - Sun Mountain Reviews - Review

Week One: Day Two 

Jan. 21st - Fiktshun - ALT Scene from Harrison's POV
Jan. 21st - Step Into Fiction - Review + Deleted Scene
Jan. 21st - Lovin' Los Libros - Review
Jan. 21st - The Autumn Review - Review
Jan. 21st - A Love Affair With Books - Review
Jan. 21st - Alii's Book Jungle - Review
Jan. 21st - Book Labyrinth - Review + Character Interview

Week One: Day Three 

Jan. 22nd - Books Complete Me - Review + Excerpt
Jan. 22nd - In the Best Worlds - Review
Jan. 22nd - Globug and Hootie Need A Book - Review
Jan. 22nd - My Favorite Things - Playlist Post
Jan. 22nd - Ginger-read Reviews - Review
Jan. 22nd - Book Angel Booktopia - Review

Week One: Day Four 

Jan. 23rd - Ramblings From This Chick - Review
Jan. 23rd - The Demon Librarian - Review
Jan. 23rd - Books Over Boys - Excerpt or Deleted Scene
Jan. 23rd - Keepin' It Real Book Blog - Review
Jan. 23rd - No Bent Spines - Author Interview

Week One: Day Five 

Jan. 24th - Seeing Night Reviews - Guest Post
Jan. 24th - Bookhounds YA - Guest Post
Jan. 24th - The Book Swarm - Review
Jan. 24th - The Book Review - Review
Jan. 24th - bookaholics anonymousonline - Guest Post
Jan. 24th - Little Bookworm Reviews - Review

Week Two: Day Six

Jan. 27th - Owl Always Be Reading - Review + Guest Post
Jan. 27th - BookChic - Review
Jan. 27th - The Book Whore-der's Delights - Review
Jan. 27th - Paranormal Book Club - Guest Post
Jan. 27th - Ticket to Anywhere - Deleted Scene
Jan. 27th - Nocturne Romance Reads - Review + Author Interview

Week Two: Day Seven 

Jan. 28th - The Busy Bibliophile - Review
Jan. 28th - The Cover Contessa - Guest Post
Jan. 28th - Book Crushin - Review
Jan. 28th - Rumpled Sheets Blog - Review
Jan. 28th - Good Books & Good Coffee - Guest Post

Week Two: Day Eight 

Jan. 29th - Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks - Review + Character Interview
Jan. 29th - Waiting For Wentworth - Review
Jan. 29th - Nestled in a Book - Review
Jan. 29th - The Scarlet Siren - Review
Jan. 29th - Nerd Alert Book Love - Review

Week Two: Day Nine 

Jan. 30th - The Irish Banana Review - Review + Guest Post
Jan. 30th - Stuck In YA Books - Review + Excerpt
Jan. 30th - adventures-in- word - Review
Jan. 30th - The Bookmark Blog - Review
Jan. 30th - All in a Book - Review
Jan. 30th - Booklovers LaceyCat - Deleted Scene or Excerpt

Week Two: Day Ten 

Jan. 31st - Fade Into Fantasy - Guest Post
Jan. 31st - Hot Stuff Book Reviews - Review
Jan. 31st - Kimberlyfaye Reads - Review
Jan. 31st - Sugar and Spice Book Reviews - Excerpt
Jan. 31st - Polished Readers - Review
Jan. 31st - A Bookish Escape - Review




About the Author

Lisa Desrochers is the USA Today bestselling author of A Little Too Far, courtesy of HarperCollins, and companions, A Little Too Much (Nov 12, 2013), and A Little Too Hot (Jan 21, 2014). Also in stores is her YA Personal Demons trilogy (Macmillan).

She lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.

Website   •   Twitter   •   Facebook   •   Blog   •   Goodreads



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas



This Man (This Man #1) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Release Date: October 20, 2012
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy from Netgalley
Goodreads • Amazon


Young interior designer Ava O’Shea has an appointment for a first consultation at The Manor with the owner, Mr Jesse Ward. She is expecting nothing more than an overweight, cravat wearing, well-to-do countryman, and on arrival, nothing would suggest otherwise. How wrong could she be? This Man is devastatingly handsome, charming and confident. He is also a conceited, hedonistic playboy, who knows no boundaries. Ava desperately does not want to be attracted to him, but she can’t control the overwhelming affect he has on her. Every instinct is telling her to run, so she does, but Jesse Ward is not so willing to let her go. He wants her and is determined to have her. She knows she is heading for heartbreak, but how can she run when he won’t let her?


*DNF at 31%*

I understand the appeal of alpha males. I really do. In fact, I've read (and enjoyed) lots of books with really dominant male characters. It's definitely not a concept that offends me outright in any way - it can work really well in the context of certain stories and falls into the "you do you" category of interaction between characters.

So, to be clear, for me there're two ends to the alpha male story spectrum: sexy escapist romance and OH MY GOD RUN FROM THE CRAZY. Obviously, there are stories that exist in the mid-ground but as far as I'm concerned This Man... it defined the crazy end of the spectrum. I seriously couldn't do it. I ended up giving up on the book before even making it a third of the way through, which is rare for me. These are just a few of the reasons that stuck out:

1. Jesse refuses to tell Ava how old he actually is. That is just... so weird. And it made me super uncomfortable. I can't even exactly define why, but there just seems to be something inherently wrong with the whole scenario. I mean, she's already having sex with you. Just tell her, for goodness sake. I don't know why I'm fixating on this one aspect, but it really bothered me.

2. Continuing to touch someone until it feels good and they give in is not adequate consent. Jesse seems to be under the impression that it is. I take quite a bit of issue with that. While what he's doing is not actually rape, it walks much too close to assault for my liking. Also, if someone needs to go to the bathroom, the correct way to deal with it is not to hold them down and have sex. I'm rather appalled that it needs to be stated at all.

3. Ava is completely useless at making up her mind. One minute she acknowledges how crazy and controlling Jesse is, she knows she shouldn't be with him. Then the next, she thinks he's perfect and swoons over him. Listen to your crazy-meter, Ava. It's serving you well.

I really wouldn't recommend this book. There are much better examples of what This Man attempted to be out there, so go with those for your own sanity.



About the Author

First time British author Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, where she lives with her family. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of This Man until it became impossible. She made time and found the courage to release her creative streak, unleashing the character Mr Jesse Ward, Lord of The Manor.

Website   •   Goodreads   •   Facebook   •   Twitter



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review: Where My Heart Breaks by Ivy Sinclair



Where My Heart Breaks by Ivy Sinclair

Release Date: August 29, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 182
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Goodreads • Amazon


If there were a course in screwing up your life, Kate Spivey would get an A+.

Trust is in short supply for Kate at the start of the summer before her senior year of college. Her parents sentenced her to spend it under the watchful eye of her aunt at the famous Willoughby Inn. It was further proof that she was a prisoner in, and not the decision maker of, her life. Nothing she does is good enough to prove that she learned from the mistakes of her past.

Almost immediately, Kate finds that her new summer home holds another person who understands the unfairness of her situation better than most. Reed Black has had his own share of tragedy and regrets, but instead of trying to fight his reputation, he embraced it.

Sparks fly between Kate and Reed, but his mixed signals remind Kate that she needs to watch her step. He is one temptation she can't afford to indulge in, no matter how strong her attraction to him. If she isn't careful, she'll lose more than her heart.


Where My Heart Breaks held a lot of promise for me - I liked the idea of the girl with the troubled past and the town bad boy finding comfort in each other. Original? Perhaps not. But sometimes you just don't mess with a classic concept.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Reed and Kate. As characters, however, I had very different feelings about them. I've mentioned before that I try not to be hard on female main characters, because it seems like readers often are. Kate was the type of character that absolutely refused to stand up for herself, and it was endlessly frustrating. Reed, on the other hand, I found very likable. He had his demons, but he was willing to accept horrible treatment by others because he felt so awful about his past. And he was a closet nerd. There is pretty much nothing hotter, as far as I'm concerned.

Speaking of the horrible treatment of Reed, it was shocking and horrifying how awful and judgmental the secondary characters were. They truly treated Kate and Reed awfully and the explanation of "it's a small town thing" felt too thin to explain just how bad it was. It made the fact that Kate catered to them even more upsetting and ridiculous - they certainly didn't deserve any consideration. The only decent people out of the lot were Kate's best friend, Millie, and aunt, Patrice (but that one definitely took while). Millie was encouraging without enabling and Patrice was overbearing but in that loving and well-meaning way of family, but even these two couldn't outweigh the abysmal showing of the rest of the cast.

I've mentioned that I was frustrated with Kate's struggle to please those around her. To make it clear, I'm not at all someone to advocate needless rebellion--in fact, I'm usually not endeared to characters who are too concerned with battling reasonable influences in their lives. But this was a case when the influences were far from reasonable and the main character was too exasperatingly spineless for words. I wanted to slap everyone--the people who were trying to control Kate this way and her for not standing her ground.

The most frustrating part was that after all of this struggle and lack of backbone, when she does finally assert herself nothing happens. I was expecting a blow up and subsequent introspective journey, but it was just like "Oh, okay, you've never stood up for yourself before, but obviously you're serious and we won't be able to change your mind." Really? That's just not how I see this scenario going down.

It was largely this ending that threw me. I could've dealt with the behavior of the characters if it had felt more consistent at the end, but it just felt to me like the floor fell out from beneath the story as it came to an end.

So, overall, I liked it. The progression of Kate and Reed's relationship had great levels of conflict, steam, and tension and showed a lot of promise, as did the premise itself. My rating suffered, however, from a) the general crappiness of the minor characters' treatment of others and b) the lack of climax. While I would recommend it as a good, quick NA read, I would also warn of a decent chance of frustration by the end.



About the Author

Ivy Sinclair cut her romance teeth on classics like Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, An Affair to Remember, and Sabrina. She is a firm believer in true love, a happily ever after ending, and the medicinal use of chocolate to cure any ailment of the heart. Ivy’s guilty pleasures include sushi, endless Starbucks lattes, and wine. Readers of Ivy’s stories can expect smoldering sweet stories of romance that tug at the heartstrings.

Website   •   Goodreads







Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: The Dark Horse by Patricia Simpson



The Dark Horse (Forbidden Tarot #2) by Patricia Simpson


Release Date: October 27, 2005
Genre: Romance, Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Tor Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Goodreads • Amazon 


Claire Coulter’s brother is dying. To Claire’s astonishment, her boss offers to pay for the the risky operation that might save him. The catch? Claire must accompany Tobias Benton on a search for the Fountain of Youth.

Despite believing Tobias is on a wild goose chase, Claire agrees—she’ll do anything to save her brother. The trip is a disaster: Tobias doesn’t just want Claire’s company—he wants Claire. But Claire is drawn to Jack, their mysterious and sexy guide.

Although the strange and beautiful deck of tarot cards she’s carrying with her predicts a positive outcome, Claire suspects everyone around her is hiding something. Especially Simeon, an urbane older man who claims to be studying snakes, but whose dark demeanor hints at a terrible past.

Claire’s psychic sensitivity alerts her that all is not what it seems, but can she figure out who to trust before it’s too late?


So, I think I’m immune to cowboys. I just don’t find them attractive, at all.

Okay the second book in the Forbidden Tarot series was not as appealing as the first, but I think that’s because it had less of The Mummy vibe going on. This book is also more explicit than The Dark Lord, in my opinion. Which, I mean, is the point of adult romance, but I was a little taken aback by it. Apparently, I’m a prude or something.

Also, I thought this novel had an inappropriate view on gender relations for a while. Claire, our beautiful protagonist, practically hates men—or at least, she distrusts them innately. At many points in the novel she shuns the help of men with a disdainful thought on how they’re all the same. Which, obviously, I disagree with. Now, I do concede that part of Claire’s development in the story is that she gets over this stigma, but it just really bothered me.

Oh boy, I feel a rant coming on. Hold on to your seats, guys!

I know you all probably know this, but being a feminist, or a strong woman doesn’t mean that you have to put down “the man.” Not at all. I feel like women, as a class, should not strive to dominate over men and vice versa. We should all just learn to respect each other. Unless of course, you or your SO wants to be dominated, then by all means you do you. Am I an idealist? Of course! But this is my personal philosophy and should by no means be construed as a mandate on how everyone should live his or her lives. I just wanted to give you guys a glimpse on where I’m coming from. :)

Rant over. We can resume discussing the novel.

Okay so basically, the plot of this book is that Claire comes into possession of the Tarot deck from The Dark Lord and her life goes to hell in a hand basket. Her boss Tobias is constantly sexually harassing her (you guys can guess my opinion on that front), and blackmailing her about her brother’s kidney transplant. What an ass, right? Don’t worry, you’re not supposed to like him. The only thing I have to say in his defense is that he is a virgin (NOT saying that is a bad thing! If that is your personal choice, rock on!). And his virginity is often used as an excuse for his actions. Such as: Oh, he almost raped her—it’s okay he’s a virgin! Which is obviously not an appropriate excuse for half of the things he does. However, it does give you insight into he character. He is starved for human contact, and unfortunately has no idea how to go about it. In his frustration, he often turns to violence. It’s sad really, but as I said before: not an appropriate excuse.

Now let’s get back to Claire. Claire just confuses me, and she confuses about half of the characters as well. About 60 pages in, she is miraculously given the ability to psychically communicate with animals, and it’s just weird. It serves a purpose, but there was no gradual lead-in to that. She’s also a very strong, very willful woman, and I completely respect that. However, she is so against violence that it’s dangerous. I mean she talks about how there is no good enough reason to beat someone up and then her boss tries to rape her. What are you going to do then, Claire? Talk him out of it? Because I’m pretty sure that that strategy ain’t gonna fly. But other than that and her general contempt for men, I like her!

And now Jack: the guide. He comes from a dysfunctional family, who hilariously accompany them on their journey to find a fountain of youth. They have a saddening relationship with one another, but they’re also great comic relief. Grandma Betty? I want to be Grandma Betty: the seventy plus year-old-woman who is so kind most of the time, but isn’t afraid to curse or give her family some much needed tough-love. I straight up think of Betty White. And I love it.

Oh, sorry, I was supposed to be talking about Jack. Anyway, Jack is the lone wolf kind of guy. Misunderstood and mistreated by society. He has a spirit animal that comes out at random intervals. Oh, and Claire can communicate with it. It’s kind of kinky, and sometimes really uncomfortable. But whatever, it’s their life. As he’s guiding them, he feels a certain attraction to Claire and it’s obviously reciprocated (SPOILER: THEY HAVE SEX…in a cave…good for them).

And lastly, Simeon Avare: yes, the very same Simeon Avare. He is not nearly as creepy in this book as he was in The Dark Lord. He takes a backseat, mostly. One thing I do have to say about him is that I felt like he did a 180 in character. The Simeon I remembered was suave and attractive and definitely into women. However, in this novel, he seems to shun them. I understand how Simpson explained his change in character, it just seemed contrived. There are also little excerpts from Set (AKA: Simeon), which just ruined the haughty image I had of Simeon. Don’t get me wrong, they’re hilarious, but I felt like they weren’t consistent.

And in conclusion I’d like to say this: I feel like everyone is watching too much Ancient Aliens. It’s weird and it needs to stop.

But I did enjoy this book, and I’ll probably read the last one just to see where the story is going.

Much love, babes! ;)



About the Author

Patricia Simpson grew up in the wilderness of Western Montana, where it meant a 3-1/2 hour drive just to buy shoes. When she was young, the iPad hadn't yet been invented, and there were no radio stations in the area, so on the many long drives for shoes, Patricia amused herself by reading novels or creating her own stories in her head. She was encouraged to write by her sister, who always asked to be read what she had written so far that day, her Egyptian-born English teacher in junior high, and then again by a creative writing professor at the University of Washington. Instead of seeking a writing degree, Patricia chose to pursue a BA in Art and has worked as a graphic artist/web developer at the University of Washington since 1982. Patricia still enjoys painting almost as much as she loves to write.

Ms. Simpson has won numerous awards for her fiction, including Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, Career Achievement Award, and has been a finalist in the RITA awards and for Best Indie Paranormal of the Year.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blog Tour + Review: Tell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt



Tell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt

Release Date: January 20, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 273
Format: eBook
Source: ARC for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon • B&N


Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her. And Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.


Fun fact: for reasons that Caroline and Izzy, and even I a lot of the time, can't understand, I'm actually an engineering major. Specifically bioengineering, but that's neither here nor there. The point is, I read the synopsis for Tell Me When and one thing popped out at me: sexy engineering student with a jaded past who's a player but will inevitably fall in love and be wonderful.


After that, I needed no more convincing. And while I marvel at the portrayal of the amount of free time Marcus seems to have (seriously, am I doing something really wrong, here?) it was a fun element that I certainly haven't found to be common in books I've read, and allowed me to geek out a bit. Now, if only my program had a Marcus....

But before we really get to Marcus, let's talk about our leading lady for a little bit. Amber had one of the scariest and most heartbreaking back stories I've read in a contemporary novel, and that's saying something because there's usually a doozy. It made her an incredibly strong and admirable character when considering how well she managed to cope overall. That's not to say she was perfect by any means. Her refusal to accept help and tendency to blame herself, while understandable, was frustrating at times. With that said, it was nothing that wouldn't be expected from a typical girl of her age dealing with major flux in her life on top of everything she'd already been through. It made her real and relateable, even if I wanted to shake her every once in a while.

And then there's Marcus. I liked him. Kind of a lot. His back story just made me want to hug him and the glimpses we got of his protective side were enough to make me all gooey inside. On top of that he's smart and driven, both admirable qualities, and, at least to me, seemed to have a lot more respect for women from the get-go than your average reformed-player protag. Others may disagree, but it felt that way to me. He was a wonderful swoony love-interest throughout.

While I generally enjoyed the progression of Amber and Marcus' relationship, there were definitely some points where it felt rushed and feeling seemed to escalate out of the blue. But for me, the deliciousness of the tension between them at other points made up for it. I especially liked the development of the trust between them that seemed to happen largely independent of the romance, which made the foundations of it seem much more solid.

The only thing that still bothers me is part of the ending. Fair warning, this will be incredibly vague to avoid spoilers. But when its discovered who was taunting Amber, that is not something that should just be let go. Seriously. It irks me to no end that that is essentially what happened. Not. Okay. Ever. Jeez.

Regardless, I definitely enjoyed the story overall and would recommend it to any NA contemporary fans out there. Tell Me When is a staple for the genre: a beautiful story about accepting and overcoming our pasts to let love in. Basically, all things good and yummy. :)




Giveaway!




About the Author

Born in England, Stina loves to travel, and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She spent a semester in graduate school living in central Finland, and a summer during her undergrad degree working in Helsinki. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology and has worked with elite athletes. In her free time, Stina is a photographer, mother of three adorable kids, and devoted wife. She currently lives in Calgary, Canada.

Website   •   Goodreads   •   Facebook   •   Twitter   •   Pinterest









Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Release Day Launch: Savor by Monica Murphy




Monica Murphy's Savor is now available for purchase! Savor is a sexy Contemporary Romance novel in Monica’s The Billionaire Bachelors Club Series, published by Avon Impulse (an imprint of HarperCollins). Go out and grab your copy today!


Savor (Billionaire Bachelors Club #3) by Monica Murphy

Release Date: January 21, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse (HarperCollins)
Pages: 240
Goodreads • Amazon US • Amazon CAN • Amazon UK
B&N • iTunes

New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy concludes her sexy Billionaire Bachelors Club series with a fiery romance that refuses to be left at the office…

Bryn James can’t take much more. Smart, sexy Matthew DeLuca is everything she wants in a man, but he’s also her boss—the youngest, hottest vineyard owner in the Napa Valley—and he doesn’t see her as anything more than his shy assistant. That’s all about to change. Armed with a hot new look and an attitude to match, Bryn is determined to catch Matt’s eye… professionalism be damned.

With his winery’s grand reopening approaching, Matt is trying to stay focused, but Bryn is suddenly making it very difficult. He’s always thought her prim demeanor effortlessly sexy, but Matt can’t deny that her transformation is jaw-dropping …and going to make it very difficult to keep his hands to himself.

But when one thing leads to another and suddenly Matt is stripping Bryn bare, he’ll be faced with the biggest risk of his career—and his heart. Can he convince her—and himself—that this might just be more than a no-strings office affair?



Excerpt from Savor


“Don’t be so cranky. It’s okay to admit you have a thing for Bryn.” Ivy leans forward in her chair, a secretive smile curling her lips. “I have a feeling she has a thing for you too, you know.”

I do know. And I can’t act on it. Bryn James works for me. She’s my assistant. She’s by my side constantly; we spend more time with each other than probably anyone else in our lives, especially lately what with the winery’s grand reopening approaching. She’s a representative of my business. If I were to fuck around with the help and the relationship fell apart, I’d be in huge trouble. She could screw me over financially every which way by suing me for sexual harassment and I’d be left with a limp dick in my hand and a ruined business.

Yeah. Not going to take the chance. Saw it happen with my father. Not going to let it happen to me.

“It doesn’t matter. Nothing can happen.” I send Ivy a stern look. “And this conversation can never leave this office.” Glancing over her shoulder, I try to see if Bryn is at her desk but the chair is empty.

Thank Christ.

Ivy’s expression goes solemn and she holds up three fingers. “This conversation stays here. Scout’s honor.”

“You were never a scout,” I mutter, afraid she’s making a promise on an untruth. She’ll probably just blab to everyone. Or specifically Archer and Gage. I don’t need to hear their shit.

And I am worrying way too much over this.

She laughs again. “I won’t say a word, I promise. But I need to tell you something, Matt.” She leans in close, her voice dropping. “She’s got a major crush on you. You might not see it but it’s there—sounding in her voice, shining in her eyes, every time she looks at you, talks about you. The way her body turns into yours every time the two of you are together . . . it’s pretty obvious. A body language expert would have a field day with you two.”

Body language expert? What the hell is Ivy talking about? “I have no idea what you’re referring to, but office crushes are just that. Crushes. Harmless attractions no one ever acts on. Period. End of story.”

This is what I keep telling myself. I can’t pursue anything with Bryn, no matter how much I’m tempted to. Not only would it be wildly inappropriate, dating my assistant, but we come from two different worlds. She seems nice and normal, quiet and unobtrusive, and I am anything but. My life has been a circus sideshow for years.

“I get it. You’re trying to do the right thing, and I admire that. So, of course you don’t see anything beyond an efficient assistant in Miss James.”

Well. Ivy’s not too far off the mark. When I first met Bryn, she hardly said two words, kept her head bent when I spoke to her and offered lots of yes-sir and no-sir answers. She had this way of almost blending in with the walls, like she didn’t want anyone to notice her.

So I didn’t.

As we got comfortable working together though, something happened. I’m thinking Ivy had a hand in Bryn’s slow transformation. She actually makes eye contact when she speaks to me, and she’s become somewhat animated. Started to wear bolder colors as well, drawing my attention to her chest though I keep my eyes averted as best I can.

These subtle changes made me notice all of the little things—like the color of her eyes (blue), how her hair looks (like silk and I want to touch it), and the tempting fullness of her lips (they’re spectacular).

Her gaze lingers when she looks at me and sometimes so does mine. Her smile softens, her voice drops lower when she speaks, sparking my imagination. Would she sound like that right before I kissed her? Took off her clothes? Took her to my bed?

Yeah. All of those are dangerous thoughts. I almost prefer the old Miss James. The one who was like the wallpaper—boring and nondescript. Mean to say, but hell, the last thing I need is a distraction.

And she’s become the biggest distraction I’m currently facing. The very last one I need.




Giveaway!




About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Blog Tour + Review: Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader




Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

Release Date: July 18, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Merit Press (Adams Media)
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy for Tour
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Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.

But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s fa├žade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?


I don't know what I was expecting when I started Escape from Eden. Maybe I was thinking there would be more straight action and less "heavy" plot elements; maybe I just wasn't really thinking when I read the synopsis. All I know is I got a lot more than I was planning for.

What does that mean? Basically, this book was intense. Sometimes in a way that was tough to continue reading. Not to say it wasn't a good book or didn't keep me enthralled, because it did. Rather that the secrets Mia and Gabriel uncover about Edenton are disturbing and terrifying. The depth of the brainwashing of other characters is, in many ways, nauseating. But, all of this combined into a well-crafted story that ratcheted up the sympathy for and emotional connection with the characters quickly. In that way, it was incredibly well done.

Our main character Mia was a fantastic example of a YA protag. While she wasn't necessarily anything special or destined to save the human race (don't get me wrong, I love those kind of books too!), she was capable of great bravery and perseverance to protect those she cared about. This is a girl who accomplished everything throughout the book by nothing more than her own determination, while still being a pretty believable 16-year-old. It made her extremely likable and relateable to me, and she served as a great guide through the story.

On the flip side, Gabriel managed to remain pretty aloof and mysterious as far as his true intentions. With a cocky smile, pretty face, and a more-than-healthy dose of bravado, I started feeling the tingles as soon as Mia did (which was pretty early). His obviously dark past and the small glimpses past the front he puts up really left me wondering what he was actually up to for a lot of the book. It was as obvious that he cared about Mia as it was that she cared about him, but he kept denying it. Which left me wondering why. I really just wanted him to be a good guy, because goodness knows, both he and Mia could use something good in their lives.

Which is why I needed a happy ending for this book. I could not have handled anything else. And while there's still a lot of mystery surrounding what will happen next, they got it. It was like being in a straight nosedive of emotion and then, just before you go splat, arching up and just getting to soar. Or maybe the emotional roller coaster that was this book left me melodramatic. Entirely possible.

Overall, Escape from Eden was thrilling, full of drama and intrigue. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in those kinds of stories. With that said, there is some pretty mature content (although it's not explicit) in what these characters went through and never knew they were living in. A violent religious extremists are just downright terrifying. But, if you can handle the stressful content, seriously give it a go!




Giveaway!




About the Author

Hi. I’m Elisa. I like cheese and reading and TV show marathons. Writing is scary, but not as scary as, say, Civil War amputations. I’m an Aquarius. Uh… let’s see… I’m not very good at writing my own biography. Or autobiography. I guess this is reading more like a slightly incoherent personal ad.

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