Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review: "When We Kiss" (Ribbon Ridge) by Darcy Burke


Denver real estate mogul, Liam Archer, has always been a thrill-seeker, and the loss of his identical twin brother has only intensified his reckless behavior. Sky diving, heli-skiing, motorcycle riding…he’s tried everything once. Except falling in love. Liam doesn’t do relationships, but a no-strings fling with Aubrey Tallinger—the smart, gorgeous lawyer handling his brother’s estate—is totally his speed.

At first, hooking up with Liam whenever he’s in Ribbon Ridge is perfect; but Aubrey fears she could fall hard for the sexy daredevil, if he’d only stop refusing to acknowledge the demons he’s trying to outrun. To protect herself from heartbreak, Aubrey ends their affair. But this time, Liam isn’t leaving town and instead of seduction, he wants to be…friends.

The white hot attraction between them still sizzles but Liam knows that winning Aubrey back won’t happen in his bed. He’ll have to convince her that he’s more than the careless, adrenaline junkie she believes him to be. Because when they kiss, Liam feels whole again… and he isn’t ready to give her up without a fight.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

My Review:

When We Kiss is Liam and Aubrey's long awaited story. We've gotten to know Aubrey as she helped the Archer family navigate the aftermath of Alex's suicide. Liam is the unique brother in the family in that he is Alex's identical twin. Ms. Burke's character development is wonderful and it's fascinating to explore the twin relationship between Liam and Alex, as well as Aubrey's guilt over her role in Alex's death.

What I like about the Archer family is that they aren't a "pretty family wrapped up with a bow." They have their own dysfunctions and skeletons in the closet - that makes the family real to the reader. In this case, its Liam and Alex's relationship dynamic we get a glimpse into. Liam and Alex had a love/hate relationship in life, and Liam's resentment has carried over long after Alex's death. It's a wonderful dynamic to watch play out.

Aubrey is a strong woman who knows what she wants, but she has her fears and anxieties, which also makes her relatable. The one thing she wants is her "happily ever after" and I like how Aubrey stood up for herself in her relationship with Liam in that regards. As a reader, it took a while for us to really understand that part of Aubrey's challenge is that Aubrey wasn't quite enumerating what she wanted to Liam. Once he finally realized what she wants out of her life, he starts to chip away at her defenses. What he didn't realize was that at the same time, he was chipping away his own objections.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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About the Author:
Darcy Burke lives on the edge of wine country in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with her devoted husband (my own hero), a daughter and son who illuminate her world, and two Bengal cats.

Her first completed book was called The Magic Swan. Dedicated to her grandmother (who adored swans), she wrote and illustrated it in sixth grade. Her daughter loved to have her read it to her when she was younger. The story is about a guy (swan, of course), Albert, who goes on a magic kick, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, Gwen, who loves him just the way he is. Seeking to put an end to Albert’s newfound obsession, Gwen (with the help of her awesome pal Phyllis) pretends to need rescuing. Albert rushes to Ponderosa Falls to “save” her from certain doom! Gwen happily points out he saved her without magic…and Albert realizes he has everything he wants and needs in Gwen. Naturally they get married and have many baby cygnets. As you can see, by age 12 she was plotting happy ever afters (and demonstrating her inability to ever be an illustrator).

Fast forward some number of years and she decided to get serious about writing a romance novel. Joining RWA was a huge step in attaining that goal, but understand: finishing a book is hard. And oh so rewarding. She's thrilled to be represented by the brilliant Jim McCarthy of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management and excited for her books to be read and (hopefully) enjoyed!

Website: www.darcyburke.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Blog Tour: "Surrender My Love (Peaceful Harbor)" by Melissa Foster


Book #2 The Bradens of Peaceful Harbor, Love in Bloom

Fall in love with Cole Braden in the Bradens of Peaceful Harbor. Hot, sexy, & wickedly naughty second cousins to the Weston, Colorado Bradens we know and love. .

In SURRENDER MY LOVE... Annalise "Leesa" Avalon never realized that one sentence could change her life until one of her students revealed his crush--and within twenty-four hours she finds herself under fire. After a grueling investigation that turns her life upside down, she steals away to Peaceful Harbor, Maryland, with a new identity to try to pull herself back together and figure out her next step.

From the outside, Cole Braden lives a charmed life. He's a top orthopedic surgeon with a thriving practice, strong family ties, and friends he adores. But there's a lonely spot inside Cole that no one can see. He has an enormous heart--and a painful past--but the desire to love and be loved is too strong to ignore.

A chance encounter brings Leesa and Cole together, and the attraction is immediate and intense. But a relationship is the last thing Leesa needs--and the only thing Cole wants. Long talks, heated moments, and deep connections are hard to resist, but the harder Cole tries, the more Leesa pulls away. Cole might truly be the right man for Leesa, but is Leesa the right woman for him?

SURRENDER MY LOVE is part of the Love in Bloom series. While SURRENDER MY LOVE can be read as a stand-alone novel, for even more reading enjoyment you may want to read the entire Love in Bloom series in series order.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

My Review:

Surrender My Love is a relatable story that really resonates with the reader. The author, as always, develops compelling characters and interesting storylines.

I loved Cole from the minute he walked onto the page. He is extremely sexy - it just oozes out of the pages as you read about him. He's a strong, confident man who knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go after it. But, he's also sensitive to Leesa and her struggles.

I struggled with Leesa a bit at the beginning. After understanding the challenges she faced, it felt as though she was blowing her reaction a bit out of proportion, despite the fact she'd been exonerated. Having never been in the situation she faced, I don't know how I would have reacted but I felt her reaction was assuming a level of guilt and hysteria that was a bit disproportional.

As with all typical romance novels, Leesa and Cole find their happily ever after. But, the story wasn't all wrapped up in a nice little package with a bow on top, and I was happy to see that. In real life, everything doesn't always work out as you'd like. In this case, I felt the reactions of the parties involved were realistic and I really enjoyed how the author handled the interactions between the boy and his father.

I'm loving the Braden's of Peaceful Harbor and the mentions to previous Bradens. Can't wait for the next story in the series.

Available to buy from ...

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Also Available
Healed by Love (Love in Bloom, The Bradens of Peaceful Harbor #1)
Meet the Bradens of Peaceful Harbor and fall in love with Nate Braden & Jewel Fisher in Healed by Love.

Nate Braden has loved his best friend’s younger sister Jewel for as long as he can remember, but between their age difference and his respect for Rick, he’s always kept his feelings at bay. Now he’s back in Peaceful Harbor, and Jewel is no longer sixteen years old—but there’s an even bigger obstacle standing in his way. Nate and Rick joined the military together eight years earlier. Nate came home a hero, but Rick didn’t make it out alive.

THE BRADENS AT PEACEFUL HARBOR are one of the newest additions to the Braden series and the LOVE IN BLOOM family.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Book available to buy from ...

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa also co-writes the Love on Rockwell Island series with New York Times bestselling author Bella Andre. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. 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 World Literary CafĂ©. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. 

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa at The World Literary Cafe or her personal website.Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

Find Melissa on the following sites....
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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cover Reveal: "Laguna Sights" by Kaira Rouda


Today we are celebrating the cover reveal of LAGUNA SIGHTS by Kaira Rouda. This book is the 4th in the Laguna Beach series and it will be released on March 29th. Each book in this series is a standalone, contemporary romance title. Be sure to check out the buy links below, along with links from the previous books in the series.

  LagunaSights BN Kobo

Is the price of fame the chance at true love?

Scott Cassidy has lived a blessed life. Growing up in Laguna Beach with a loving family, he was discovered in high school when he appeared on the popular reality TV show, Laguna Nights. Now cast as a doctor on the number one soap opera, his star keeps rising. Finally free from his long-term girlfriend, Scott isn’t looking for love, but when a popular dating app matches him with Jamie Kane, he can’t deny the sparks. But is she really everything she seems?

Jamie Kane isn’t lucky in love or life. Her childhood was tumultuous with a single mom who moved to Hollywood for fame but ended up waiting tables in Malibu. Certainly not one of the spoiled kids she went to high school and college with, Jamie has worked hard to achieve her dreams of being an actress, even as she begins to realize it’s not her calling. Jamie believes Scott may be the answer to everything unless a past mistake makes him doubt their future together.

Once you become a star, can you trust other people’s intentions?






LN Amazon (1)

Laguna Nights (Laguna Beach, #1)

LH BN Kobo

Laguna Heights (Laguna Beach, #2)

LL - cover

Laguna Lights (Laguna Beach, #3)


About the Author:

Kaira-Book-Signing-2014-028Kaira Rouda is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary women's fiction and sexy modern romance novels that sparkle with humor and heart. Her women's fiction titles include HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER'S DAY.

Her sexy contemporary romance series include the LAGUNA BEACH Series the INDIGO ISLAND Series with a new MALIBU Series launching in 2016. Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire.

Kaira's work has won numerous awards including the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader's Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer's Digest International Book Awards. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter @KairaRouda, Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books and on her website: www.KairaRouda.com.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Review:"When I Fall in Love" (Grayson Brothers) by Wendy Lindstrom


A Mail Order Bride He Doesn’t Want — A Woman He Can’t Resist

Hal Grayson has just buried his brother. He doesn’t need any more surprises — especially a mail order bride that he didn’t order. But the beautiful and strong-willed Miss Mitchell has other ideas, and the woman turns his life upside down. Will he send her back, or will the captivating and spirited woman reawaken his grieving heart?

Genre: Historical Romance (Sensual edition)

My Review:

I love when a series I love gives me a prequel to show me how it all began, and that's what we have with When I Fall in Love. Now is your chance to get to see how Hal and Nancy's story began.

Hal is a strong, emotional, prideful man. He feels things deeply, whether it be obligation to family, or emotions for those that he loves. He's got an endearing wit about him that you have already seen in his sons in the Grayson brothers series. He's quick to anger and quick to forgive, he's prideful, but caring.

Nancy is a strong, stubborn woman. Readers of the Grayson brothers series know that in the way she supported each of her sons as they navigated their own love stories. But seeing her young self starting out in the world is an interesting look into how a young girl turns into the strong matriarch of the Grayson family. It's fun to watch her journey from young, frightened girl into strong wife to Hal Grayson.

This story takes the reader back more than twenty years before the first Grayson brother book and almost fifty years back from the most recent Grayson book and it's interesting to see snippets of Fredonia earlier in history. The town in many cases serves as a character in and of itself and as a reader you can really feel yourself walking the streets of Fredonia beside Hal and Nancy as they begin their life together.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Always and Forever, the sweet version of When I Fall in Love links
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About the Author:

I was born and raised in upstate New York. My seven siblings and I were as wild and untended as the land around us, nurtured by the rich, black earth and warm sunshine. We swam in a shallow creek and made forts in the corn field where I would lie beneath the enormous blue sky and imagine epic adventures.

Alone I would haunt the forest, sharing my stories with the trees. I would press my face against their bark to feel their energy; a deeply furrowed oak, a scaly pine, a smooth beech, all welcoming my skinny arms and childish cheek. Thirty feet in the air, I would perch on their limbs, feeling safe beneath their leafy canopy. There I would become the heroine of the stories I imagined. There I began my life as a writer.

My first attempt at storytelling was in English comp class at SUNY University at Fredonia. My professor, Melinda Wendell, told me I had a voice for storytelling and that she hoped to see my work in a bookstore one day. (Thank you, Professor Wendell!) I never finished that particular story, but in the messy, handwritten pages of my journal an idea began to form. While researching, I came across a Civil War memoir by George K. Collins and I knew I’d found the premise for my first book Shades of Honor.

My award-winning Grayson Brothers series set in 19th Century Fredonia echoes the sounds and smells of my childhood. Like me, my characters are driven to understand what it means to be alive to each experience and fully embrace the unknown.

While writing books three and four of my Grayson Brothers series I spiraled into chronic fatigue syndrome. Although I dabbled with a few projects during that time, I didn’t have the energy or focus to write a book. Like all adventures, there comes a moment when a person must embrace the unknown and leap! I took up tai chi to get myself moving again. I started kickboxing a few months later and eventually began taking karate. I’m happy to say that I have since earned an Green Belt in A.K.T. Combatives and have returned to vibrant health. Most importantly, I published SLEIGH OF HOPE and LEAVE IT FOR THE RAIN, books 5 and 6 in the Grayson Brothers series. More books in the Grayson Brothers series, and also in my new Crane Landing series, are in the works.

Website: http://www.wendylindstrom.com/