- Book Reviews
- Author Posts
- Blog Events
- Author's Pal
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Chloe is planning a “special” night with a guy that ends up standing her up. While hand-cuffed to the bed she loses the key. Her only option is to scream for help. Michael hears her and comes to her rescue and finds her in a very vulnerable position-tied to the bed.
Chloe and Michael are very attracted to each other but they have some obstacle to overcome. Although Michael is ready to give Chloe the special night she wants he is not physically able to because he is in so much pain. Chloe feels rejected not understanding why he walks away from her.
The next day Chloe is at work and Michael walks in to get a massage for his back. Although Chloe is very embarrassed she is professional and discovers why Michael walked away from her the previous night. Michael in turn finally gets some relief from his back with Chloe’s help.
Since they can’t keep their hands off of each other Michael and Chloe are caught in a compromising position and Chloe loses her job. Michael feels terrible and helps her the only way he can think of, he offers his extra bedroom to Chloe. At first Chloe doesn’t want to accept but her job is not the only one on the line. Michael could lose his post too because of the situation they were found in. Michael tells Chloe if they pretend to be engaged both can be saved from any embarrassment.
This was sweet and fun romance. Chloe and Michael have great chemistry and make the story very enjoyable.
**ARC provided by Publisher**
Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes |
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Infinite Possibilities is the second book in The Secret Life of Amy Benson series by Lisa Renee Jones. This book is not a standalone and should only be read after Escaping Reality. If you have not read Escaping Reality, you definitely should give it a chance and also beware of spoilers below. As a reader, cliffhangers definitely have become the bane of my existence. I love a good series and I am all for making sure that a story is told completely and the best way it should be. However cliffhangers really drive me nuts. So when I finished Escaping Reality and was left hanging there, I absolutely couldn't wait to get more. Luckily, Infinite Possibilities picks up where Escaping Reality left off, and we aren't left trying to figure out what has happened for very long.
Having overheard a private conversation, Amy is left reeling and doesn't know what to think. The only person that she has trusted in the last six years seems to have been lying to her the whole time. Fearing for her life, Amy decides that she must leave and start over again. But as she sets out to disappear, she knows that if she doesn't fight back now she will be on the run forever. Amy is determined to discover the truth and will do whatever it takes. But Liam isn't about to let Amy go without a fight. Liam must convince Amy to trust him and that he will do anything to protect her. Liam and Amy have an undeniable connection. But with secrets and lies everywhere, can they possibly trust in each other? Amy wants to believe that Liam is trustworthy, but she also knows that regardless of what side he is on that people she cares about tend to end up dead. Even though she is unsure of Liam, she knows that she needs to protect him and will do anything to make sure that he is safe.
I was really hoping that Liam was on the right side. After the end of Escaping Reality I was so worried that this man who Amy and all of us readers had come to love was really working against her the whole time. But I just knew there had to be a mistake and we weren't seeing the whole picture. Liam continues to be protective and loving despite the fact that Amy continually tries to run and push him away. I loved that he kept going after her and refused to let her run away from him. You could tell that even though he didn't come right out and say it, that he really did love and care about her. Liam is the kind of guy that is hot and sexy, but also really deep. He is loyal and caring and there is so much more to him than meets the eye. I like Amy. She continues to be strong and she does what she has to in order to survive. I understand that she is damaged and vulnerable because of her past, but I was hoping that she wouldn't run as much in this one. I really felt like she should have leaned on Liam more and accepted his support. She trusted in her feelings and the connection she felt to Liam and yet she continued to assume that she had to run in order to protect him. I just didn't really feel as though her trust was one hundred percent real when she kept disappearing. I also felt like she was a little immature sometimes and that as much as she said she couldn't trust anyone she would then turn around and make decisions at the drop of a hat with very little proof. Amy and Liam continued to have a ton of chemistry though, and it was nice to see their relationship grow. I felt like they really started to make some progress in their relationship and I loved their scenes together.
This story was action packed and fast paced. It kept going right up until the end and there were so many twists and turns that the reader is never quite sure where we will end up. There were a few things that I had wondered about and had seen coming, but there were also some complete shockers. I love how Lisa Renee Jones is able to weave things into her stories and characters that the reader can't possibly figure out, but that once revealed make complete sense. Her writing style is always excellent, and you can't help but be drawn into the story and become invested in her characters. My only gripe though, is that we never really seem to get the resolution that I hope for. When one question is answered it seems like five more are brought to the surface. Even though this story ends with less of a cliffhanger and Liam and Amy together and safe for the moment, it just felt as though they were sort of left unfinished. Jones leaves this story headed in a clear direction and we get to see who the next portion of this story will feature. But I still feel as though we aren't done with Liam and Amy. I hope that we will get more of them in the next book Forsaken, and that they will get the ending they deserve. My other issue with this story was Meg. She was brought into the story and we are left hanging. She completely disappears and we are left to wonder who she really is and what happened to her. Hopefully that will be addressed as well. I did love Jared though. I had been intrigued by him in Escaping Reality and I was very excited to see him again. I really hope that he is a bigger part of Forsaken and that we get to know him better. Overall, this story was an excellent continuation of what is shaping up to be a great series. I loved the way that things are unfolding and I can't wait to see where Jones will take us next. This book kept me turning the pages and I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a little mystery and action with their romance. This series will grab a hold of you and not let go until you have devoured every last word.
**ARC provided by Truly Schmexy Promotions**
Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Caught Under the Mistletoe on Christmas Eve - Valerie Bowman
Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels with a focus on sharp dialogue, engaging story lines, and heroines who take matters into their own hands!
Valerie's first Regency series from St. Martin's Press has garnered acclaim including a nomination for Best First Historical from RT Book Reviews, a BookList starred review, and a Publishers Weekly starred review. Her work has been called "Too delightful to miss" by New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Kleypas and "Everything a romance should be" by New York Times bestselling author, Sarah MacLean.
Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she's number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally rescue dog, Roo. When she's not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. Valerie loves to hear from readers.
Places to find Valerie:
Mercedes is ordering room service when she finds out who Lucas really is. She is shocked to discover that they are “enemies”. Mercedes is very dedicated to Better Todays a charity for children. She is very passionate about the children she helps and will do anything to make sure that they get a chance to make it. Both Lucas and Mercedes have very good intentions for the property and both feel that their idea will benefit the neighborhood. Mercedes decides that she is not going to back down after finding out that Lucas is her rival. She wants to seduce him and gain the upper-hand.
Lucas knows that Mercedes is up to something but can't figure out what. They both realize that after their cruise is over their life’s will go separate ways. Mercedes is also very intimidated by their different levels of money. While she does not have any money to throw around Lucas is very wealthy. When Lucas wins the property Mercedes feels betrayed and refuses to see or speak to him. He lavishes her with gifts but she uses them for Better Todays. Ultimately neither can deny their very strong attraction for each other. Lucas realizes that Mercedes passion is well intentioned just like his.
This was a fun and light story. It was great to see a Latin as the heroine.
**ARC provided by Publisher**
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
What a sweet, lovely book! I freely admit that I am a sucker for stories with a blind hero so I was probably going to like this one no matter what. But when you put the blind hero into the writing hands of Mary Balogh the result is a heartwarming story of characters discovering their inner strength together. If you like adventure, intrigue or danger this is not the book for you. If, however, you love sympathetic characters and you appreciate slow, steady character development you will enjoy The Arrangement (Survivor’s Club #2).
The story opens as Vincent Hunt, who has recently and unexpectedly become Viscount Darleigh, runs away from home and his family’s attempt to find him a bride. His mother, grandmother and sisters tend to overwhelm him since he is the youngest and he is blind due to a war injury. Vincent knows that he has to grow up and become his own man, but he wants to do it on his own terms. His wandering eventually leads him to his childhood home where he is welcomed back into the community. It is there that he meets Sophie Fry, “the Mouse,” a poor relation living with a prominent area family. Vincent’s friendship with Sophie causes her to be cast out with nowhere to go. They decide to marry even though they are both less than enthusiastic about the idea. They make an agreement (the arrangement) that they will each live independently after a year. The rest of the book takes us through their wedding and months of adjustment on their way to their Happily Ever After.
Romance writers today are taught that the essence of story lies in conflict. Sometimes it seems like the message is “the more conflict, the better.” As a result it is not unusual to find books with what I call “contrived conflict’ – it feels like the author tried too hard to include lots of conflict, even when it did not fit naturally into the story. Interestingly, The Arrangement had almost no serious conflict. There was no villain, no evil plot, and no insurmountable issues. The story moved forward at an even pace and the characters dealt with each issue as they encountered it. There was never any doubt, of course, that Vincent and Sophie would work things out, but there weren’t even any real bumps in the road. Each of them helped the other to find their confidence and to build their life together.
I loved reading The Arrangement. It was a heartwarming journey of self-discovery for two characters with difficult challenges. In spite of his blindness, Vincent was not an angsty, tortured hero. He was just a young man trying to take charge of his life. Vincent was a genuine beta hero, loving and considerate. Sophie was a little bit of a tragic heroine, but she possessed a courageous spirit. She just needed the opportunity to blossom into a strong woman. Both of them were living marginal lives, but struggled to be whole people. The book was a little unusual in that Vincent and Sophie were younger than in a lot of Regency romances; he was only twenty-three. We were privy to their sexual lives, but it was pretty bland, not particularly steamy. One thing I especially enjoyed was getting reacquainted with most of the other members of the Survivor’s Club. It is a great series and I can’t wait for the next one.
**ARC provided by Edelweiss**
Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |