Forever in a Moment by Charlotte O’Shay

A snowy holiday romance just in time for spring! It has so many feels that you’ll find yourself wishing for snow.

What’s it About? 

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A stormy encounter… Samantha DeMartino’s Christmas wedding is two weeks away when her fiancé calls the whole thing off. Word on the street: his cold feet are being heated by an old flame. With her well-ordered world in complete disarray, Sam’s friends convince her to go on her honeymoon—alone. A week at a charming Vermont inn away from the city and her demanding corporate career could be just what she needs to figure out her next steps.

Between his twenty-four seven work schedule on his family’s dairy farm and teaching tourists to ski, Jed Armstrong’s too busy to think about how lonely he is…until Sam sings her way into his life during a Christmas blizzard. Now he has to figure out a way to convince her to stay. Can a vivacious city girl find forever with a reclusive farmer? Will her secret keep her from trying?

First Impressions

Taking a break from the pressures of the city, and whisking yourself away to a snow-covered inn located on the edge of a small and picturesque Vermont town. Man oh man, this sounds like a dream vacation, doesn’t it? There’s just one little problem. This was actually supposed to be Samantha’s honeymoon. Her fiancé, make that ex-fiancé, broke up with her just a few weeks before their wedding because he fell in love with somebody else. Then on the drive up to this snowy retreat Samantha’s car runs out of gas. In the middle of a snow storm. Which she has to trudge her way through in the dark in order to find said snow-covered inn. Mkaaayyy, so make that a butt-load of problems rather than one little problem. I guess this doesn’t sound like the dream vacation after all! However, to be rescued in the midst of said trudge through a snow storm by a sexy, dashing, muscular local dairy farmer/ski instructor? Well…Samantha might just have a bit of Christmas luck following her after all!

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Short Mourning Period

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. This woman was just jilted by a fiancé she had every intention of marrying up until just a matter of days ago, how can she already be falling in love with someone new? Talk about a short mourning period for an engagement that lasted for several years. You also can’t help but wonder if this connection with Jed is the real deal, or if she’s simply on the rebound following a painful break up. The beauty of this time away from the hustle and bustle of her regular routine is that it allows Sam to look back on her previous relationship with her ex, Ben, and realize that her seemingly perfect life wasn’t as perfect as she had initially led herself to believe.

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In the peace and quiet of this small town Sam comes to the startling conclusion that back in New York she was stuck in a rut in almost every aspect of her life. She’s always had a strong relationship with her parents, but realizes that she came to work in their law firm immediately after graduating from law school because it was the easy and expected route for her to take. This path of least resistance was also true when it came to her relationship with Ben. Their romance made sense. He was handsome, hard working, and in a similar line of work as her mother. Why wouldn’t they end up together? When she looks back on this though she realizes that what they had wasn’t necessarily love. They fell into a relationship of convenience.

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At one point during Sam’s reflection of the weeks leading up to her wedding and honeymoon, she wearily admits that she didn’t even look upon it with excitement, but rather it “…was more like a finish line I was determined to cross. More like an obligation.” Prior to this moment, Sam never really had the opportunity to question if this life path she was following was one she actually wanted, because on the surface it seemed like something she should want. Only when Ben left her did she finally have a chance to look back at the decisions and dissatisfactions of her life and realize that she’s never really decided anything for herself. She just sort of fell into what made sense. Now she can figure out what she really wants out of life. Previously she’d always seen her future in New York, working with her parents. But now? Maybe now she has the chance to do something different with her career. Maybe now she has the chance to uproot herself to a little snowy Vermont town. With a new man on top of it.

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The Timetable of Love

Samantha’s engagement may have just ended in a somewhat embarrassing fashion, and she may have just met the handsome town local in the midst of a terrible snow storm, but she can’t deny that the mere presence of this man fills her with butterflies. She quickly comes to the realization that what she feels for Jed isn’t simply physical attraction, and that if she had come to this serene inn with her fiancé as originally planned she still would have realized that her connection with Jed was significantly stronger than what she ever felt for Ben. As the two spend more time together on the slopes and on his family’s dairy farm the simmering sexual tension between them continues to grow.

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However, the logical part of her brain continually questions if it’s worth pursuing this immediate attraction she feels for him. Aren’t things moving too fast? She just met this man after all, and she was engaged to another man just a few weeks ago. But then another character asks her a very important question, “Is there a timetable for falling in love?” Sure, things are moving quickly between Sam and Jed, and she’s heading back to New York in simply a matter of days, but why should she delay the possibility of joy? Sam remains wary about the possibility of opening herself up to heartbreak once again. A one-night stand with Jed would certainly satisfy both of their desires, but also has the potential to open a Pandora’s box of emotional hurt when she must inevitably return to the city. The prospect of letting Jed into her life so quickly and so fully terrifies Sam to her core, but he just might be worth taking a chance on.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Deerbourne Inn, book 1. You bet your snow-covered booty I’ll be continuing on with this series. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we’ll see some tales of romance for a few of the local townsfolk we saw in this first book. From the former girlfriend of Jed’s deceased brother, to the sassy front-desk clerk at the Inn, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Final Impressions: Lemme tell you something, all month I have been begging for the cold wind of winter to leave us behind for the warm weather, budding flowers, and chirping birds of spring. Reading this short romance in the span of two days had me reminiscing about snow and a cup of hot cocoa. If that’s not the sign of a good romance, then I don’t know what is! This is a feel-good romance in every way imaginable. Beyond that it’s a story of figuring out what’s important in life, and realizing that sometimes taking a chance in life will be worth all the happiness it inevitably brings.

Smut Level: Nothing too detailed or over-the-top erotic. We do get a few delightful pickup truck make-out scenes with foggy windows and straddling the driver moments that were definitely my favorite.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 114 Pages.

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Loving Disaster by Alex L. Michaels

An entertaining adventure story from start to finish! We have an ancient treasure map, a klutzy female lead, and a muscled guide with a temper. All the ingredients necessary for a fun romance!

What’s it About? 

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When Aster Persephone Ainsley-Drummond set out to find Professor Bartholomew H. Pemberton, her mission was to recruit, hire or otherwise convince the mysterious archeologist to help her reach the elusive, mythical place called El Mourat. When Hunter Pemberton woke up from a drunken stupor, his mission was to avoid, ignore, kill or kiss the stunning redhead who appeared out of nowhere with a delusional plan that would get them robbed, killed or both.

But another day, another dollar, and soon the world’s unlikeliest pair will find themselves on a mission to solve the riddle of an ancient map, discover just how many times things can go wrong in a row and maybe stop arguing long enough to realize how crazy about each other they actually are. One thing’s for sure… in this story, lessons will be learned. A shy, awkward librarian may find out that sometimes Professors don’t look like Professors… at all. And a hunky Professor may find out it’s better not to contradict, provoke or lose your heart to someone called Aster the Disaster.

First Impressions

This novel has a wonderful comedic blend and adventurous spirit that reminded me so much of some of my favorite movies featuring a bookish female lead and a seemingly ill-mannered male hero. The setup of our story is particularly reminiscent of the Mummy, or Romancing the Stone, with our heroine on a quest for a hidden treasure in a foreign land. Aster is definitely out of her depth in the sense that she’s more of a bookworm than an explorer, but seeing as it was the last wish of her late grandfather for her to head out on this journey, Aster is determined to stay the course. She can’t do it alone though. Enter her drunken guide, Hunter.

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He’s the most skilled man for the job, yet also seems like the most incompetent upon first meeting. He’s rude, crude, has a nasty temper, and the last thing he wants is to lead this clumsy city girl around the jungle on a hunt for a mythical treasure. They don’t get off to the best start, and as their mission progresses they’re not shy about openly sharing how much they hate each other. They also can’t deny the underlying sexual tension simmering just below the surface. Neither wants to admit an attraction to the other, but they constantly find themselves drawn together more and more, and even a few scenarios where they have to pretend to be a couple. I’m always a sucker for a scene à la Leap Year where our lead couple must play the ruse of a married couple in order to find shelter for the evening, and are inevitably goaded into proving their love through a sensual kiss. This book definitely doesn’t disappoint in that sense either!

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Arrogance and Sarcasm

While Aster has the bookish personality of the female leads from the Mummy or Romancing the Stone, Hunter was a wonderful blend of the dashing male leads in those movies with a little bit of Indiana Jones mixed in there as well. He’s arrogant, sarcastic, and even though this isn’t a movie, you can easily envision a delightful smirk playing across his face at so many points throughout the story. Hunter initially has no intention of accepting Aster’s proposal of following an ancient map into the unknown so that he can keep the ultimate treasure as a reward. His initial goal was to take her back to civilization, but funnily enough the more he tries to lead her away from the trail of the treasure, the more adventure and shenanigans they inevitably encounter. From thieves to ruffians, princes with ill intentions and women with their sights set on Hunter. It’s non-stop excitement from the moment these two literally bump into each other in a dingy bar in the middle of nowhere.

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As a bookworm myself, I was understandably drawn to Aster’s character. Nothing like backpacking through the wilderness and choosing to bring an 800 page book along. When it came to Hunter I loved his sarcastic wit, his strength, and the naturally slow way he realized that his frustrations with Aster were born from a desire to make sure she would be safe and out of harm’s way. The only thing I didn’t care for when it came to Hunter was the fact that by trying with all his might to deny these burgeoning feelings for Aster, he had the tendency to get mean. He’d yell and scream at Aster because of his frustrations, and I couldn’t help but feel that at times it crossed the line from sexual tension into actual real tension. Aster also has a few choice words for Hunter throughout the novel that make you cringe at their harshness. By the end they both have sort of a light-bulb moment where they realize in the heat of ultimate danger how much they actually care for each other, and that the thought of losing the other is their biggest fear. It’s definitely a saving grace moment to help remedy all of the fights and bitter words they’d exchanged pretty much from opening bell, but there were a few scenes here and there that I think could have been toned down in how scathing they were.

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Curses Abound

No adventure novel would be complete without a good ole fashioned curse or two, and this little diddy has curses flying left and right. Except, they’re not necessarily the curses you’d expect! We have no cursed treasures or relics, no old craggy witches placing curses on the innocent. Oh no, these curses are a bit more…humorous. Let’s start with Aster. My goodness is this poor girl cursed with bad luck! It seems to follow her everywhere, and Hunter’s fortifying strength proves no match for the calamities following Aster in her wake. Her friends don’t call her “Aster the Disaster” for nothing! It seems like every mode of transportation they encounter breaks down in some dramatic fashion, from buses to jeeps and getaway cars. They get shot at, arrested, sick, pursued by unsavory characters, you name it. Aster’s trademark bad luck definitely ran the risk of being over-the-top, which at times it certainly was, but I must admit I loved every single minute of it. These misfortunes simply added to the overall fun and humor of the story, and had me chuckling aloud a time or two.

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As for Hunter, the more time he spends with Aster the more he becomes convinced that he’s been beset by a curse. And it’s not just because her bad luck is rubbing off on him by mere association, although that does play a minor role. Instead he insists that Aster has bewitched him in some way, as he’s seemingly become possessed by an all consuming need for her. Hunter has always been a lone wolf, yet he continually finds himself inextricably drawn to this walking disaster. Other women no longer hold any appeal for him, and by the end of the story he’s astounded to admit that the bachelor lifestyle no longer seems as enticing. He’s intoxicated by her vanilla scent, and becomes enraged at the thought of anyone else having her. His need for her is downright painful at times, especially considering whenever they start to make progress in the physical sense they’re consistently interrupted, adding to a very serious case of blue balls. At first Hunter assumes once he gets Aster into bed the “spell” will be broken, but through their various adventures it becomes clear that this curse is here to stay.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Bookworms & Alphas, book 3. This might just be my favorite book of the series so far. It’s humorous, sexy, and it was fun to lose ourselves in a foreign land right along with our characters.

Final Impressions: An entertaining read to be sure! At times the shenanigans and misfortunes which befall Hunter and Aster are slightly over-the-top, but never to the point where it becomes an annoyance. Aster and Hunter are both determined to hate each other, so whenever they feel the hint of a simmering passion coming to the surface they try and lash out at each other in the hopes that those lustful feelings will simply disappear. If only it were that simple! This is the one area which had some over-the-top arguments that I think could have been toned down a bit. All in all though, a fun tale of adventure.

Smut Level: Hot damn I need a shot of tequila or something after this one. It surprisingly takes quite a long time before Hunter and Aster finally seal the deal, which was expounded by the fact that they were interrupted every time they started to rub up on each other. At one point though Hunter reaches his breaking point, and enough is enough. What follows is some lust-filled and steamy hair pulling, moaning, licking, pushing up against a wall, dirty talking sexy time.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 177 Pages.

Setting Sail!

December has finally arrived, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for another family cruise vacation! We are setting sail this week for the beautiful sunshine of the Caribbean. See ya later 40 degree weather! Can’t say I’ll miss you at all.

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I’ve got my Kindle full of romantic beach reads, and I can’t begin to express how much I’m looking forward to getting my tan-on whilst reading the day away. Sure, the endless buffets of delicious food and desserts are also pretty awesome, but I’m most excited about getting away from the stresses of life. Nothing quite like getting off the grid, and telling work that you will literally be unreachable for a whole glorious week in international waters.

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From Costa Maya to Cozumel, not to mention the delicious rum of Belize, here’s to a week of fun, sunshine, and time with family. I imagine I’ll have finished quite a few books by the time the week is out. See you all in a week!

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A Sinner without a Saint by Bliss Bennet

Two men with a past. Will their mutual obsession with art draw them closer together, or drive a wedge between them forever?

What’s it About?

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An honorable artist: Benedict Pennington’s greatest ambition is not to paint a masterpiece, but to make the world’s greatest art accessible to all by establishing England’s first national art museum. Success in persuading a reluctant philanthropist to donate his collection of Old Master paintings brings his dream tantalizingly close to reality. Until Viscount Dulcie, the object of Benedict’s illicit adolescent desire, begins to court the donor’s granddaughter, set on winning the paintings for himself . . .

A hedonistic viscount: Sinclair Milne, Lord Dulcie, far prefers collecting innovative art and dallying with handsome men than burdening himself with a wife. But when rivals imply Dulcie’s refusal to pursue wealthy Miss Adler and her paintings is due to lingering tender feelings for Benedict Pennington, Dulcie vows to prove them wrong. Not only will he woo her away from the holier-than-thou painter, he’ll also placate his matchmaking father in the process.

Sinner and saint–can both win at love? But when Benedict is dragooned into painting his portrait, Dulcie finds himself once again drawn to the intense artist. Can the sinful viscount entice the wary painter into a casual liaison, one that will put neither their reputations, nor their feelings, at risk? Or will the not-so-saintly artist demand something far more vulnerable–his heart?

First Impression

A feature you notice from the very opening page of this book, and which the author should be commended for, is that it truly feels as though we have been transported to the Regency Era. I’m sure some of you are thinking that for a 19th century historical read, we damn well better feel like we’re in the 1800s. Well, hear me out! To write a historical romance is one thing, but to feel as though the novel was actually written in the 1800s? That’s a talent all in itself. From the syntax to the British slang, the work felt reminiscent of something written by Jane Austen or Frances Burney. While it was a noticeably admirable trait of the novel, it did also make for a slightly slower read. What can I say? It took me some time to decipher what the characters were actually trying to say. But I also couldn’t deny that my desire for a pot of tea and tray of cucumber sandwiches grew stronger with every page turned.

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Classic Beauty vs. the Unnatural

In my opinion, the true mastery of this novel lay not necessarily with the romance between Benedict and Dulcie, but instead through their discussions and debates of art. Benedict’s goal in life is to open a national art museum for the British people. All British people, regardless of class, station, or wealth. Dulcie on the other hand is one of the leading art critics of the day, with his sights set on acquiring unique pieces for his own private collection. The heated discussions which erupt between the two, as well as with their fellow high-class art peers, were so insightful and thought-provoking that you couldn’t help but feel moved to take up an opinion on the matter as well. As the novel progresses we see a shift in the conversation from who is worthy of appreciating good art to who decides what good art is in the first place. The scrutiny placed on the artistic system was riveting, as our characters understand that sometimes you have to look beyond the paint to what is hiding underneath.

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What hit me the most though was how this discussion of art and beauty could find direct symmetry in the romance between Benedict and Dulcie. The two are art connoisseurs, yet they can both appreciate the talent in an artistic piece that might not be considered classically beautiful. While some might view tangled limbs and an imperfect male specimen on a canvas as grotesque, they are both enamored with the emotion such a piece can evoke in the viewer, and therefore can’t deny that it deserves praise. Even if the majority of their contemporaries don’t agree with them.

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Do me a favor. Do yourselves a favor. Stop talking, and look. You’re not required to write a paper. You’re not even required to like it. You *are* required to consider it. – Mona Lisa Smile

When we look at Benedict and Dulcie’s relationship, the majority of regency society would also look upon it as something grotesque and unnatural. And sadly, there are many in our own time who would see it in the same context. But what lies underneath the surface? What do you have when you push the physical component to the side. What lies beneath the paint? Simple, it’s love. Love between two consenting adults who want to spend the rest of their lives together. Love is love and romance is for all. While they can see the beauty in this, and a minuscule number of their contemporaries understand it, for the majority it is seen as too far removed from what society deems as “right” or “proper”. Again, the parallels between their love and the discussion of modern art was so subtly clever that I’m still thinking about it.

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Romance vs. Challenge

While I was fully entranced by the discussion of art for the masses, unfortunately there was one aspect of the novel that I’m sorry to say I had a much harder time falling in love with. And that would be Dulcie. Now, let me start off by saying that eventually he does manage to redeem himself by becoming a devoted partner and friend once again to Benedict. The problem is that it took sooooo long to happen. Throughout the novel Benedict is this adorable, wide-eyed puppy dog that I just wanted to pick up and snuggle, even though he definitely has some bark behind his bite. When it came to Dulcie though, he was like a predatory hawk. Constantly circling, searching for who he could mess with next.

Ok, ok, so a hawk might be too harsh a comparison. How about a puppet master who loved to pull the strings of others? He could tease, seduce and manipulate with the best of ’em. It was really a struggle to know whether or not his heart was ever behind his pursuit of Benedict, or if it was simply a challenge to regain Benedict’s childhood affections. Again, eventually we see Dulcie open up with Benedict, and share some of his innermost thoughts, feelings and fears. I just wish it had come a bit earlier on in the novel. Something else which I think could have helped me warm up to Dulcie earlier was if we could have received a prologue to show how the two initially connected at school all those years before. We see the moment where their interaction ends, and towards the end of the novel we realize how both of them suffered following the end of their friendship, but the missing element for me was that initial crucial moment which connected them in the first place.

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Let’s Get Physical…Or Not

Duclie’s pursuit of Benedict throughout the novel is fairly relentless. Both admit to an undeniable attraction that seems to be pulling the two of them together. For Benedict though, he doesn’t want anything to happen between them unless Dulcie is willing to offer up his mind in addition to his body. For Dulcie? He’s basically just looking for a good ole rough and tumble in the back room of a tavern. He employs all the seductive looks, touches, and smirks at his disposal to try and sway Benedict to his line of thinking. Essentially, he’s a classic playboy. What I found to be so fascinating though was what happened when the two finally did get physical.

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There’s some rubbing, some tugging, some “spending”. Anything beyond that though? Shockingly this is where Dulcie becomes more reserved! Throughout the whole novel his attitude and confidence towards getting Benedict in his hands sort of implies that he’d be the expert and dominant when it came to the physical side of their relationship. What debauchery might they get into when the seducer finally captures his prey? Who knew it would be the complete opposite with Benedict being the more experienced one?!?! It was very interesting to hear Dulcie’s rather negative opinion towards the concept of oral sex, not to mention penetration, almost as though it was beneath his high stature to engage in such uncivilized and…unsanitary behavior. I have a feeling Benedict might succeed in changing his opinion on that matter though 😉

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: The Penningtons, book 4. This was the first book I read in this series, and I will admit I had trouble with the links between some of the different characters. It was kind of difficult to understand the relationship and familial webs at times.

Final Impression: Overall I can’t say I was fully connected to Dulcie and Benedict as a couple. I couldn’t help but feel that Dulcie’s eventual transformation into a caring and selfless lover came a bit too late in the game for me, and if anything I wanted more for Benedict. As a social and artistic commentary though it was an enthralling read. There are arguments about classic beauty versus opening the mind to modern interpretations that will keep you thinking for a few days.

Smut Level: Any time a couple can successfully balance on a chaise longue whilst exploring each other’s bodies deserves honorable mention. While we don’t get any scenes involving penetration, we get a few decent kissing scenes, tingling spines, tightening of groins, cock-stands, and “spending” a time or two.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Bliss Bennet Books. 298 Pages.

Tomorrow’s Extravaganza Post: The Mate by Abigail Owen. Paranormal, Shifters.

Review Madness Starts Monday!

Hey everyone, don’t forget that starting Monday I’ll be switching up my regular posting schedule due to the plethora of new releases coming out next week. I’ll be featuring five novels from five different authors. A new review every day of the week! There’s a little something for everyone, so be sure to check out the schedule outlined below to find out which novels you might be interested in. Prepare yourself for the madness!!

Monday, September 17: Rogue Dragon Rising by TJ Shaw40921417
Genre: Fantasy, Gothic
Synopsis: Twenty-three year old, Amari Hawke, is thrust into the world of two-soul shifters when she is injured and kidnapped by trackers outside the veil, beyond the safety of her homeland. Unable to remember her past, she trusts no one and relies on instinct to survive. As her awakening approaches, the first time she will transition into her animal, she must evade rogue shifters trying to capture her. Now free from the King’s Army, powerful dragon lord, Jaxon Blackthorn, seeks a peaceful life. Intent on building his lands into a viable plantation, away from war and bloodshed, he is reluctantly pulled back into the fight when he defends the mysterious shifter with no past against an unseen enemy. As evil threatens to destroy the entire realm, can the battle-hardened warrior and coming-of-age noblewoman accept their differences to forge an alliance that will ultimately unite the shifter nations?
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. 194 Pages.

Tuesday, September 18: Within the Skin by Zara WestWithin the Skin
Genre: Suspense, Multicultural & Interracial
Synopsis: Known as El Toro, street artist Alba Vargas is on the cusp of fame and fortune. Winner of a prestigious award, she is the toast of the New York City art scene. Or at least she will be, once she figures out how to act like a woman after living disguised as a boy for six years. If she is lucky, she might even attract the attention of the tattoo artist she has long loved from afar. Tattoo artist Fernando Pharaoh has betrayed everyone who ever cared about him, including El Toro, the street-wise graffiti artist who saved his life when all looked bleak. Depressed, he turns from his friends and becomes ensnared in a criminal enterprise run by a former enemy. Then the crime boss kidnaps Toro’s younger brother, Hanger. Blaming himself, Pharaoh sets out to rescue him, resolving to do one good thing in his life. But Toro has her own desperate plan to save her brother—one that will not only break Pharaoh’s heart—but will also destroy every hope and dream she has ever had.
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. $5.99 Kindle Price. 342 Pages.

Wednesday, September 19: Between the Shadows by Casi McLeanBetween the Shadows
Genre: Time Travel, Fantasy
Synopsis: She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one…After her friend, York, encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold. An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnaping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart. Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot, while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’s life?
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. 320 Pages.

Thursday, September 20: A Sinner Without a Saint by Bliss BennetA Sinner Without a Saint
Genre: Regency, Historical, LGBT
Synopsis: Benedict Pennington’s greatest ambition is not to paint a masterpiece, but to make the world’s greatest art accessible to all by establishing England’s first national art museum. Success in persuading a reluctant philanthropist to donate his collection of Old Master paintings brings his dream tantalizingly close to reality. Until Viscount Dulcie, the object of Benedict’s illicit adolescent desire, begins to court the donor’s granddaughter, set on winning the paintings for himself . . .Sinclair Milne, Lord Dulcie, far prefers collecting innovative art and dallying with handsome men than burdening himself with a wife. But when rivals imply Dulcie’s refusal to pursue wealthy Miss Adler and her paintings is due to lingering tender feelings for Benedict Pennington, Dulcie vows to prove them wrong. Not only will he woo her away from the holier-than-thou painter, he’ll also placate his matchmaking father in the process. But when Benedict is dragooned into painting his portrait, Dulcie finds himself once again drawn to the intense artist. Can the sinful viscount entice the wary painter into a casual liaison, one that will put neither their reputations, nor their feelings, at risk? Or will the not-so-saintly artist demand something far more vulnerable–his heart?
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. 287 Pages.

Friday, September 21: The Mate by Abigail OwenThe Mate
Genre: Paranormal
Synopsis: Maddie Thompson’s life just fell down a rabbit hole. Finding out she’s a dragon shifter was one thing—she never quite fit into the human world, and this new reality feels…strangely right. However, discovering the next step is to choose a mate, and if she chooses wrong she’ll die, is the other side of crazy. Especially when she already left a piece of her heart with someone who didn’t want it. To say dragon enforcer Fallon Conleth was shocked when the Mating Council summoned him as a potential mate for a newly found dragon doesn’t quite cover it. A mate is rare and precious and many dragons never find theirs. Fallon isn’t sure he’s worthy of the honor, not when so many deserve it more. He’ll just go through the motions and return home alone…until he sees Maddie. The human woman he reluctantly let walk away. Fallon already broke Maddie’s heart once, but if he can’t convince her that they’re meant to be, she’ll die… and he won’t be far behind.
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. FREE!! 114 Pages.

 

 

Literary Book Gift Ideas

Well ladies and gents, it’s official. I am one year older. Happy birthday to meeee. As I like to tell people, I am now in my late, late mid-twenties. Also known as…29. I decided to celebrate the final year of my twenties by purchasing a few literary book themed gifts for myself. I told myself I’d just get one, but hell I’m gonna be 30 next year! I figured I deserved two. I also found there were just too many fun options to choose from. Limiting myself to one purchase was damn near impossible.

I thought I’d share with you all my b-day purchases in case you’re looking for future gift ideas for either yourself, or a loved one. I for one always feel like I’m looking for unique gift ideas for my friends and family, whether it be for birthdays or holidays, and then have a brain fart when it actually comes time to get them something. I love how this Literary Book Gifts site gives you a full bounty of different book titles to choose from. And the absolute best part? You can use “romance4thebeach20” for 20% off any purchase. No minimum amount required, and you can use it as many times as you want! Consider it a party favor for celebrating my b-day along with me!

So the site is literarybookgifts.com, and I feel like it’s a great source for all of you classic book lovers out there. You can choose from Women’s Book T-Shirts, Tote Bags, and Men’s/Unisex Book T-Shirts. Tank tops, short sleeve, hoodies, you name it, you got it. Personally, I loved the designs, as they’re truly reminiscent of cover art found on classic literary works which might be housed in a decadent library. There’s a wide variety of colors to choose from, but no matter which one you choose, the design really stands out front and center. While you can filter between women’s shirts, totes and men’s/unisex shirts, one feature I wish was built in was the ability to filter by short sleeve, tank top or hoodie. Not the end of the world, but you just have to search a bit more for the shirt type you might be interested in.

The Secret Garden

Now I don’t know about all of you, but personally I’m usually wary of purchasing clothing online. I always worry the fit won’t be exactly right, and I’ll either drown in it, or it’ll be an unexpected crop top. I appreciated that for the women’s shirt options it clearly states that the fit does tend to run on the small size. I’m usually a medium, and decided to go for a large. Definitely a good decision, as it is a rather form-fitting t-shirt. I will say though, considering I also celebrated my birthday with shrimp risotto in a lobster cream sauce, dark chocolate mousse cake for dessert, and about 4 glasses of Amaretto…there’s probably a good reason why it wasn’t very loose. After having it on for a few hours though, it really does seem to mold perfectly to your body.

Tote Bags

I must say, I debated long and hard about which shirt I wanted to go for, and in the end it was an epic battle between the Pride and Prejudice option and the Jane Austen one. In the end, I decided I had to go for Jane Austen, and I might just have to make this my official blog writing t-shirt. I’m actually writing in it right now! It’s cute, comfy, the white design just pops against the dark blue background, and is perfect for either lounging around on a rainy Sunday indoors or going out in public to a coffee shop. But don’t you worry Pride and Prejudice t-shirt, I’ve got my eye on you for a future purchase. If you’re looking for a looser fitting shirt that could be a sleep shirt or workout shirt I’d say it’s probably a good idea to go for the unisex shirt option. If you want one that will show off your womanly figure? Go for the women’s.

And now, for one of my greatest weaknesses in life. Tote bags. My goodness do I have an addiction to tote bags. When I first visited this site I knew I had to get a tote bag, and do you know what I appreciated more than anything else? The measurements for the handles are provided!! Not just the handle height, but the width as well. I can’t tell you how many times I get excited to order a tote bag online, but then receive it and find out I can only hold the handles rather than put them up my arm and over my shoulder. This site gives you the measurements for everything you could ever have a question about, whether it’s handle height, sleeve length, shirt width, etc.

Measurements

Something else I have an inexplicably ridiculous addiction to are typewriters. Don’t ask me why, but there is something about the feel of the keys as you push down on them, not to mention the audible sound of the clicking keys that just…does it for me. Yeah, I’m weird, I know. When I saw the typewriter design I just knew it was going in my cart, but another stressful decision was whether to get it in on a t-shirt or tote bag. In the end, I thought it’d be fun to get it on a tote, and use it as my bag to carry my laptop to a coffee shop for blog writing. It is my modern typewriter after all 🙂 After receiving it I immediately fell in love. This tote is sturdy, yet also has a smooth black inner lining which will be perfect for carrying around a laptop, or for any of you who have the tendency to spill something in the bottom of your bag. Now, my one complaint would have to be that the tote bags are only offered in the color they’re displayed in. To be honest I wish I could have chosen a different color for the typewriter tote bag, for example the red one that you can get in the t-shirt style.

While I haven’t purchased one of the hoodies yet, they look like the kind I’d enjoy, where there’s a bit of a V-neck to it. I hate when hoodies feel like they’re strangling you, and the V-neck usually avoids that. Going forward I’ll probably just give the url of this site to my family members and say, “Coordinate amongst yourselves as for who is getting what, I’ll take pretty much everything”.

Ulysses.PNGOne important thing to keep in mind is that this isn’t Amazon Prime. You probably won’t receive your purchase in a two-day window. Therefore, if you’re looking for a fun gift idea for someone, just be sure to allow about a week for delivery. So enjoy exploring the site! I certainly did. Pick out something fun for yourself, you deserve it! Or find a unique gift idea for the book lovers in your life. Just remember to use the “romance4thebeach20” promo code to get your 20% off at check out.

B-day Presents

New Release Extravaganza!

Who would have guessed it, but apparently mid-September is the perfect storm of new releases! I have five different authors who have requested for me to review five different works which all release next week. Now, I could do the logical thing, and panic!!!! Five books?! 1,257 pages?!?! Next week?? GAAAAHHH!! Mkay, panic moment over. The other thing I could do is try to make something fun out of it. So that’s what I’m gonna try to do! Still with a bit of panic mixed in there though of course.

I must say that is a glorious mix of cover-art right there. Rather than stick to my typical schedule of posting 2-3 reviews a week, I’ve decided to mix things up a bit with these upcoming new releases, and turn them into a review post extravaganza!!! That’s right. Five books. Five days. A new review each day. I’m currently just a little bit over half-way done. Three books down. Two to go. Let’s doooo this!!!

I must say, while it’s a daunting task, I’m pretty excited for the line up of releases we have here. There’s a little something for everyone! We’ll have dragons, multicultural suspense, time travel, historical LGBT, and more dragons. Oh my! And of course, they all have a bit of romance thrown in there as well. Below I’ve outlined the post schedule for next week so you can get a sneak peek of what to expect, as well as a pre-order link on Amazon for each novel. Be sure to tune back in next Monday, September 17, when the extravaganza will officially commence! Wish me luck!!

Monday, September 17: Rogue Dragon Rising by TJ Shaw40921417
Genre: Fantasy, Gothic
Synopsis: Twenty-three year old, Amari Hawke, is thrust into the world of two-soul shifters when she is injured and kidnapped by trackers outside the veil, beyond the safety of her homeland. Unable to remember her past, she trusts no one and relies on instinct to survive. As her awakening approaches, the first time she will transition into her animal, she must evade rogue shifters trying to capture her. Now free from the King’s Army, powerful dragon lord, Jaxon Blackthorn, seeks a peaceful life. Intent on building his lands into a viable plantation, away from war and bloodshed, he is reluctantly pulled back into the fight when he defends the mysterious shifter with no past against an unseen enemy. As evil threatens to destroy the entire realm, can the battle-hardened warrior and coming-of-age noblewoman accept their differences to forge an alliance that will ultimately unite the shifter nations?
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. 194 Pages.

Tuesday, September 18: Within the Skin by Zara WestWithin the Skin
Genre: Suspense, Multicultural & Interracial
Synopsis: Known as El Toro, street artist Alba Vargas is on the cusp of fame and fortune. Winner of a prestigious award, she is the toast of the New York City art scene. Or at least she will be, once she figures out how to act like a woman after living disguised as a boy for six years. If she is lucky, she might even attract the attention of the tattoo artist she has long loved from afar. Tattoo artist Fernando Pharaoh has betrayed everyone who ever cared about him, including El Toro, the street-wise graffiti artist who saved his life when all looked bleak. Depressed, he turns from his friends and becomes ensnared in a criminal enterprise run by a former enemy. Then the crime boss kidnaps Toro’s younger brother, Hanger. Blaming himself, Pharaoh sets out to rescue him, resolving to do one good thing in his life. But Toro has her own desperate plan to save her brother—one that will not only break Pharaoh’s heart—but will also destroy every hope and dream she has ever had.
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. $5.99 Kindle Price. 342 Pages.

Wednesday, September 19: Between the Shadows by Casi McLeanBetween the Shadows
Genre: Time Travel, Fantasy
Synopsis: She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one…After her friend, York, encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold. An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnaping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart. Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot, while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’s life?
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. 320 Pages.

Thursday, September 20: A Sinner Without a Saint by Bliss BennetA Sinner Without a Saint
Genre: Regency, Historical, LGBT
Synopsis: Benedict Pennington’s greatest ambition is not to paint a masterpiece, but to make the world’s greatest art accessible to all by establishing England’s first national art museum. Success in persuading a reluctant philanthropist to donate his collection of Old Master paintings brings his dream tantalizingly close to reality. Until Viscount Dulcie, the object of Benedict’s illicit adolescent desire, begins to court the donor’s granddaughter, set on winning the paintings for himself . . .Sinclair Milne, Lord Dulcie, far prefers collecting innovative art and dallying with handsome men than burdening himself with a wife. But when rivals imply Dulcie’s refusal to pursue wealthy Miss Adler and her paintings is due to lingering tender feelings for Benedict Pennington, Dulcie vows to prove them wrong. Not only will he woo her away from the holier-than-thou painter, he’ll also placate his matchmaking father in the process. But when Benedict is dragooned into painting his portrait, Dulcie finds himself once again drawn to the intense artist. Can the sinful viscount entice the wary painter into a casual liaison, one that will put neither their reputations, nor their feelings, at risk? Or will the not-so-saintly artist demand something far more vulnerable–his heart?
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. 287 Pages.

Friday, September 21: The Mate by Abigail OwenThe Mate
Genre: Paranormal
Synopsis: Maddie Thompson’s life just fell down a rabbit hole. Finding out she’s a dragon shifter was one thing—she never quite fit into the human world, and this new reality feels…strangely right. However, discovering the next step is to choose a mate, and if she chooses wrong she’ll die, is the other side of crazy. Especially when she already left a piece of her heart with someone who didn’t want it. To say dragon enforcer Fallon Conleth was shocked when the Mating Council summoned him as a potential mate for a newly found dragon doesn’t quite cover it. A mate is rare and precious and many dragons never find theirs. Fallon isn’t sure he’s worthy of the honor, not when so many deserve it more. He’ll just go through the motions and return home alone…until he sees Maddie. The human woman he reluctantly let walk away. Fallon already broke Maddie’s heart once, but if he can’t convince her that they’re meant to be, she’ll die… and he won’t be far behind.
Pre-order on Amazon: Click Here. FREE!! 114 Pages.

Looks like we’re gonna start and end with some dragons! Better get ready for some burning passion!!