Surrender The Dark (The Dark #1) by Tibby Armstrong-Review & Interview

SURRENDER THE DARK (The Dark #1) by Tibby Armstrong-Review and Interview

Surrender the Dark

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: I had not read anything by this author before reading this book.

I read the back cover and was hooked…. How could the author manage to make Ben the vampire hunter and Tzadkiel the vampire that killed his family and blinded him go from enemies to lovers?

Ben’s a hunter, from a long line of hunters, when Ben was eight, his parents and uncle were slaughtered by a vampire and he was blinded. Ben had to learn quick and he did….. For the last 20 years, Ben has hunted and killed as many vampires as he could find in his home town of Boston. He hunts with his two best friends, Nyx, who is part witch and part fae, and Akito, who has always wanted to be a superhero.

The vampire in question has been walking the earth for thousands of years, but the last 20 years Tzadkiel has been in hiding, trying to heal from his injuries that were inflicted by Ben’s family. He has a plan, though, to get his strength back and also strengthen his mora (his vampire family) once again, he will need to take out the hunter in Boston.

Tzadkiel sets out to teach Ben a lesson before he ends his life, so he pretends to be a hunter like Ben, and to reeducate Ben in the art of vampire killing. He makes Ben’s previous teachings from his family a sham, he puts doubt into Ben’s mind. He makes him question his own background.

Ben and Tzadkiel and are very attracted to one another and neither of them can seem to stop it. But there is so much between them, that it takes a while before any real feelings emerge. There is a lot of hatred and mistrust.

But there is a power struggle going on in Boston that puts everyone in danger, there are zombies and strange goings on, so Ben and Tzadkiel decide that it’s better the devil you know basis and form an uneasy alliance between them.

So will they have a happy ending? It was hard to believe they would, there was so much hatred and bad blood between them, I couldn’t see how. So I won’t tell you 😉you’ll have to buy the book and find out yourself.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Julie B

Interview

TRC: Hi, Tibby and welcome to The Reading Café.

Tibby: Thank you for having me. I’m thrilled to be here!

TRC: Congratulations on the release of SURRENDER THE DARK

Tibby ArmstrongTibby: It’s such a thrill to have the book out in the world and to be able to share it with you and your readers!

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow: Website / Goodreads / Twitter /Facebook /

Tibby: I come from a family that had a book addiction. There are more bookshelves in my family than family members, and more books in three of our homes than in all of my home town public library. I think I started writing out of self defense. At least at first, writing my own stories was easier on my budget.

Thinking I would love to work as well as live around books 24/7, I obtained a Master’s of Library science in 2011. Alas, the economy and my student loans didn’t support my actually working in a library. So, now I work in the technology sector by day and allow my author alter ego to come out on nights and weekends.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Tibby: I grew up in a house with 10 people, my great grandparents included. My great grandmother used to tell me stories as I fell asleep at night. She came up with tales about elves who lived in our backyard, as well as relating the fun of being the middle of a family of 12 children. It’s safe to say that my imagination is influenced in large part by my relationship with her.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your stories?

Tibby: I’ve been extraordinarily lucky with publishing my work. My third completed novel was picked up a few months after I completed the pages. I’ve had some wonderful mentors, friends, and professionals such as my agent and my editors to rely on. If I had to say anything has been difficult, it’s that I work pretty much seven days a week and don’t take vacations because I need to use that time to meet my deadlines. I love writing though, so it’s really no sacrifice.

Surrender the DarkTRC: Would you please tell us something about SURRENDER THE DARK?

Tibby: The plot of Surrender the Dark came to me almost three years ago when I had first moved back to the Boston area for work. I was walking down a snowy street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, wondering how a person with visual impairments would navigate the icy brick sidewalks, when I looked up and saw a Victorian building decorated with gargoyles and urns. I thought, “Hm. That would be a great place for a vampire to crouch in wait for its quarry.” On the heels of that came the thought, “Blind vampire hunter.” Boom! A story was born!

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series? Is the series entirely M/M based?

Tibby: There are three books planned for the series. They are all m/m, of a sort. The third book explores some gender issues, but I think readers will be intrigued. I know I am!

TRC: How do you keep the plot(s) unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Tibby: I think most folks enjoy a certain amount of predictability in Romance, but the key is to satisfy those expectations while keeping the world and conflicts fresh. Tropes can be used as long as they’re used for a reason. The key is to make those choices consciously and to let the characters and conflict drive the story. Also, I rarely read inside my own genre anymore. I read outside the genre and find that weaving storytelling methods from those other genres into my own process helps me not to reach for the “easy fix”. Some authors can read in their genre, but I’m not someone who can do that without getting bogged down.

TRC: You write several different genres. Which do you prefer? Which do you find the most difficult?

Tibby: True! I write contemporary, paranormal, m/m and m/f. I find PNR the most challenging, but the most enjoyable. The complexity of world building, characterization, and plot keep me engaged more fully. I have had a marvelous time writing contemporary stories, but PNR has long been my first love.

TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Tibby: I do believe the cover image is very important. It’s a shorthand that tells readers several things at a glance:

1. The genre
2. The tone (light, dark, fun, angsty)
3. The quality of production put into the book by the publisher (Did the publisher believe in the book enough to spend time on the cover?)
4. Author brand

If the cover is compelling it will make the reader stop and notice the book, picking it out of a sea of other available and often wonderful options.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Tibby: Oh, it’s very much the characters directing the show. If I don’t give them control, they simply shut up and I have nothing to write or what I write comes out wooden. I learned a long time ago that they run the show!

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?

Tibby: My goodness. I don’t know that I’m qualified to say why writers might fail in showing emotions, but I think the key here is “show.” If you tell readers “It was a dark and stormy night,” you’re setting a scene, but it’s a cardboard cutout that evokes little. Writing, instead, “Tree branches scraped the leaded pane windows, their shadows like bony fingers on the ceiling. Thunder cracked, the simultaneous lightning flash illuminating the room. Sophia stifled a scream. Jared stood at the end of her bed i. He smelled of rain and freshly turned earth.”

We’ve set the scene and created anticipation so that when Jared does appear, we’re experiencing the authenticity of Sophia’s emotions. To merely say “it was a dark and stormy night” makes the reader feel as if they are watching a costume drama minus the costumes and period setting.

TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the storyline direction? Characters?

Tibby: I do! However, I don’t usually find my playlist for the novel until I’ve written several chapters and understand a little more about the characters. Then, I go on Pandora and listen to my Alternative station until I find the songs that speak to mood and psychology. Sometimes those songs influence the emotions later in the story, but mostly they support the ones I’ve already discovered.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Tibby: I have several critique partners. I also bounce ideas off of my editor and agent.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about authors?

Tibby: Probably that we are born knowing how to write. Learning to tell a good story takes many years of practice.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Tibby: There’s not much I won’t tell people, given a chance. So, not much! Though my close friends know this, possibly not many of my readers do, however. The character of Greg in No Apologies lives the career that I wanted for myself. He also has some life experiences that were also my own.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Tibby: Currently, I’m working on the second draft of the follow-up novel to Surrender the Dark. It is titled Taste the Dark, and tells the story of Akito, who falls in love with Lyandros, brother to the vampire king.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Tibby: Thank you for having me! I hope you and your readers enjoy Surrender the Dark!

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food

Smoothies!

Favorite Dessert

Cheesecake

Favorite TV Show

Currently, The Crown and Victoria. I’m researching a historical PNR!

Last Movie You Saw

Oh dear. I can’t recall. It has been a while.

Dark or Milk Chocolate

It depends on the chocolate. If it’s really expensive dark chocolate, it can triumph over milk chocolate. My guilty pleasure, however, are Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Secret Celebrity Crush

Daniel Craig

Last Vacation Destination

Manhattan

Do you have any pets?

I have two cats, Dean and Diana.

Last book you read

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold. If you haven’t read Cordelia’s Honor, pick it up!

TRC: Thank you, Tibby, for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on your new release.

Tibby: Thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely!

Share

Sexy Jerk by Kim Karr- Review and Book Tour

SEXY JERK by Kim Karr-Review and Book Tour

SExy Jerk

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 25, 2017

My best friend is married.
Everyone I know is married. It doesn’t bother me. I like my life the way it is.

Since I’m single though, when my best friend and her husband finally decide to go on their dream honeymoon, she asks me to watch their three-year-old son.

Of course I say yes.

What my best friend neglects to tell me is that I won’t be babysitting alone.

Feeling Max might be too much for me to handle, her husband asks his only single friend to help.

Nick Carrington and I have met a couple of dozen times. I’ve never really given him a second thought—other than to say he’s kind of a jerk. Out loud. So he can hear. Sure, he’s tall, dark, and handsome. And yes, he has the best ass I’ve ever seen, and I mean ever seen quite literally. You see he mooned me at last year’s Fourth of July barbecue because, like I said, he’s a jerk.

He always has to be the life of the party.
He’s also arrogant.
Imposing.
Rich.
And a playboy.
I’d even go as far as to say he’s a manwhore.

Yet somehow before I know it, this manwhore and I are co-parenting. Living under the same roof. Eating meals together and yes, talking.

Don’t look at me like that—it’s not like I had a choice. Even though I knew every minute would be hell, I had to say yes.

But after two weeks what I didn’t expect to discover is that I’d been wrong about him.
That under his smart-ass exterior, he’s quite charming.
That his arrogance is really confidence.
And that the sight of his naked body would do really bad things to me.

So yes, I’d misjudged him. And yes, I like him. Really like him. Although I might still think he’s a jerk…I now think he’s a sexy jerk.
And I want more of him.

The question is—does he want more of me?

•••••••••••••

REVIEW: SEXY JERK by Kim Karr is a stand alone, erotic, romance story line focusing on real estate developer Nick Carrington, and restaurant manager Tess Winters.

Told from dual first person points of view (Nick and Tess) SEXY JERK looks at the enemies to friends to lovers relationship between real estate developer Nick Carrington, and restaurant manager Tess Winters. Following the break up of her recent relationship Tess makes a decision to open her own eatery and café but is having difficulty closing the deal on a piece of property of which she is interested. Enter Nick Carrington, real estate developer, and the bane of our heroine’s existence. When their mutual friends (Fiona and Ethan) take a much needed vacation and long over due honeymoon Tess finds herself co-babysitting Fi and Ethan’s three year old son Max, alongside Nick Carrington. What ensues is the building relationship between Tess and Nick, and Nick’s battle behind the scenes battle with an enemy that makes things personal for our leading couple.

Nick Carrington has been attracted to Tess Winters since the first time they met but Nick made a less than perfect impression and Tess wants nothing to do with our leading hero. In each other’s presence, the sexual tension is high but the sarcasm, and back and forth sass builds with each encounter. Their attraction to one another intensifies as they work together to look after their best friends’ son. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense.

We are introduced Nick and Tess’s friends Fiona and Ethan, as well as their three year old son Max; Fiona and Ethan’s friend Jace Bennett; and competing real estate developer Mathias Bigelow. Jace’s story line is next in Big Shot

The world building looks at the enemies to lovers relationship between Tess and Nick, Tess’s misconceptions about the man with whom she will fall in love, and Nick’s inability to let go of the past.

SEXY JERK is a story with a little bit of everything: friendship, romance, love, conflict, fun and frustration. The premise is entertaining, lighthearted and hopeful; the characters are colorful, energetic and dynamic; the romance is edgy, passionate and playful. SEXY JERK is a provocative story line that will captivate your attention with it’s sexy hero, strong willed heroine, and fated love.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Sexy Jerk teaser

About The author

Kim Karr 2I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I’ve always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Page | Instagram

Giveaway

Link to Facebook Giveaway ► https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimKarr

The Next Step PR

Share

The Dangerous Thief (Stolen Hearts #3) by Mallory Crowe-a review

THE DANGEROUS THIEF (Stolen Hearts #3) by Mallory Crowe-a review

The Dangerous Thief

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

James Weston hasn’t given a damn about anything or anyone ever since the first time he took a life. Except now the hired killer is on a very different type of job: Babysitting.

Willa Belli has trouble following her. She is used to partying and trips to the most exotic parts of the world, but her glamorous lifestyle has taken a heavy blow. Now that she knows exactly where her father’s money comes from, she’s determined to finally do something right and put a stop to it. That is if she can stay alive long enough.

But the stakes are high as her father’s men comb the country for her and she’s forced to put her trust in a stranger who seems torn between ignoring her and staring with a lust from her deepest fantasies.

But she needs to be careful. Because James Weston is deadly, greedy and sexy as hell.

••••••••••

REVIEW: THE DANGEROUS THIEF is the third installment in Mallory Crowe’s contemporary, adult STOLEN HEARTS romantic, suspense series. This is mercenary for hire James Weston, and twenty four year old heiress Willa Belli’s story line. THE DANGEROUS THIEF can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and back story I recommend reading the series in order as each installment picks up upon the events of the previous, as well as the continuing premise throughout the series.

SOME BACKGROUND: Following a theft that went horribly wrong, Jennifer, Melody and Toni Murray vow revenge against the men who stole from them something that can never be returned. These are their stories as they hunt down the men responsible.

Told from dual third person perspectives (James and Willa) THE DANGEROUS THIEF is a bit of a departure from the series as the story line focuses on the daughter of one of the men the Murray sisters are hoping to destroy. As the witness to a murder, Willa is on the run, one step ahead of those hunting her down. Enter James Weston, mercenary for hire, and the man tasked with protecting our story line heroine. What ensues is the building relationship between Willa and James, and James’ struggle to protect the woman with whom he is falling in love.

Throughout most of her life, Willa Belli has been sheltered from her father’s business but as a witness to a recent homicide, Willa finds herself the center of attention, and with it the revelation to the truth about her father’s income, and the who and what of his business contracts. James Weston is unable to let go of the guilt from his latest assignment-an assignment that resulted in the death of someone he was charged with protecting. Hoping to make amends, James struggles with his attraction to Willa, and his inability to let go of the past.

The relationship between Willa and James begins acrimoniously. Willa’s anxiety over the murder, and the fear of the unknown finds our heroine trying to come to terms with her current situation. James knows that to get involved with a client could risk everything he has struggled to achieve but falling in love was never in the future. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of sexually graphic, over the top language and text.

Most of the previous story line couples and characters plays secondary and supporting roles including Austin and Jennifer (The Cocky Thief), Toni Murray, and former Chicago police officer Scott Hart who was first introduced in the author’s RELENTLESS (Fractured Farrells series #5) . Melody and Adam (The Beautiful Thief) are in hiding, as Melody must keep a low profile while the others hunt for the men responsible for destroying their lives. Toni and Scott’s story line is next in The Reluctant Thief.

The world building continues to focus on revenge; vengeance for an unnecessary loss but a loss that broke the hearts of the Murray sisters. The building relationship between Willa and James sets the couple on a path towards a happily ever after including the possibility of Willa working with the Murray clan.

THE DANGEROUS THIEF is a story of revenge, family, romance on the run and retribution. The premise is moving; the characters are charismatic and energetic; the romance is spicy and hot. THE DANGEROUS THIEF is a captivating story about two people thrown together by circumstance and fate.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
The Cocky Thief
The Beautiful Thief
The Dangerous Thief

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

About the author

Mallory CroweABOUT THE AUTHOR — Mallory Crowe is the award winning author of the Fractured Farrells series, the Bad Boys of the Underworld series and many other novels. She grew up surrounded by rescue dogs and escaping into romance books whenever possible. After trying to do the “adult” thing by getting an accounting degree and CPA license, she decided to try her hand at writing and never looked back.
An avid traveler, reader, and Netflix addict, Mallory currently lives in Michigan, with her husband and three laid-back dogs.

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/croweink
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2iiy4cF
Website: http://mallorycrowe.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mallorymcrowe/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMalloryCrowe
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13623321.Mallory_Crowe

Share

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart – Review & Giveaway

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart – Review & Giveaway

 

The Darkest Corner Banner

The Darkest Corner
Gravediggers series – Book #1
by Liliana Hart
Release Date: May 23, 2017

The Darkest CornerAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

 

Review:

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart is the first book in her new Gravediggers series.   This is romance suspense with some humor that takes place in a small town and revolves around a group of elite former military men that are presumed dead, and must stay that way with no contact to anyone from their previous lives.  These men are called Gravediggers, and work for an undercover government agency that even the President knows nothing about.   They take on suicidal missions to help save the world. 

Tess Sherman, is our heroine, who runs the local funeral home in Last Stop, Texas.  Though Tess is the director of the home, it is Eve Winter who owns it.  But Eve rarely visits the place, as unbeknownst to Tess, she is the leader of the Gravediggers , and the men who work with Tess, are actually undercover agents that are sent on secret missions by Eve.  Tess and her friend Miller love ogling the men as they work outside the home.  The town, made up of weird funny people, can’t understand why these men are working in their small town.  But even the older women love ogling the men.  J

Deacon Tucker, our hero, is the original gravedigger and former black ops agent.  He leads the 4 other men that work around the funeral home, while secretly waiting assignments.  He has also been attracted to Tess for a long time, and despite the rules not allowing them to ever be serious, the romance between Deacon and Tess will heat up and become hotter than hell.  But Deacon knows they have a difficult assignment ahead of them, with a terrorist group from Russia attempting a major chemical attack on US soil that is called The Day of Destiny. 

As Deacon and Tess’s romance escalates, he begins to worry about Tess; especially since Eve thinks Tess will be an asset to the team, with her ability to understand Russian and other languages.  At this point is when the story line becomes very exciting and suspenseful.  Tess will become part of the team, working with them on the start of this mission.  There are some terrifying situations, but the 5 guys and Tess are up to the challenge. 

Though there is much as the humor within the town and Tess’s relatives, it is the romance suspense aspect that drew me to the story.  This was exciting, action packed and thrilling. I enjoyed this very much, though I could have done without some of the craziness in the town part, which I thought was a bit too long.

The Darkest Corner was very well written by Liliana Hart, as she gives us a great sexy romance, wonderful couple, and awesome Gravediggers team. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

About the author

LilianaHartAuthorPhoto

Save

SaveLiliana Hart is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than forty titles, including the Addison Holmes Whiskey and J.J. Graves Mystery series. Since self-publishing in June 2011, Liliana has sold more than four million ebooks. She’s hit the #1 spot on lists all over the world, and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Liliana is a sought-after speaker who’s given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from California to New York to London. Please visit her at lilianahart.com, facebook.com/lilianahart, and twitter.com/liliana_hart.

Look for Gone to Dust (Book 2) June 20th!

giveaway

Liliana’s Publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of the first book in this series, THE DARKEST CORNER to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Follow Liliana Hart on Facebook.

4. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

5. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway is open to USA only

8. Giveaway runs from May 24-29, 2017

Save

Save

Save

Share

Buns (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton-a review

BUNS (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton-a review

Buns

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

••••••

REVIEW: BUNS is the third installment in Alice Clayton’s contemporary, adult HUDSON VALLEY romance (rom-com) series focusing on a tight knit group of friends in Hudson Valley, New York. This is hotel rebranding specialist Clara Morgan, and hotel manager/owner Archie Bryant’s story line. BUNS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading the series in order for history and fun !!

Told from first person point of view (Clara Morgan) with a final chapter from Archie’s point of view BUNS focuses on Clara’s struggle to enact changes at the dated Bryant Mountain House, Bailey Falls, New York in the Catskills Mountains. The Bryant family is struggling with bookings, and Jonathan Bryan, current owner, has called in help in the hopes of refurbishing his dying business. Enter Clara Morgan, hotel rebranding expert, and the woman with whom Archie Bryant will fall in love. What ensues is the antagonist relationship between Archie and Clara as Clara struggles to push Archie out of his comfort zone-in more ways than one.

Clara Morgan is a passionate female lead who battles the demons from her past. Unable to settle down, her work as a hotel rebranding specialist is the perfect foil for a woman afraid to commit beyond the present fearing rejection in both life and love. Archie Bryant is a man stuck in the past: refusing to move forward especially in his personal life. Meeting Clara throws all of Archie’s caution to the wind until the day Clara walks away without explanation or good bye. The $ex scenes are intimate and sensual.

There are a large number of secondary and supporting characters including several employees at the Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, as well as the return of Roxie and Leo (Nuts #1), and Natalie and Oscar (Cream of the Crop #2) .

The world building looks at the attempted revitalization of the Bryant Mountain House, Clara’s battle to convince Archie that the changes will make a positive impression, and the building romance between two people moving in different directions.

BUNS is a story with a little bit of humor, romance, conflict and fun. The back and forth banter between Archie and Clara is sexy; the banter between Clara and her besties (Roxie and Natalie) as well as Logan and Chad, is lively and entertaining. The premise is amusing and engaging; the characters are dynamic, energetic and passionate; the romance is captivating and playful. If you are wondering about the title-BUNS-this is in reference to the ‘hot cross buns’ that the Bryant Mountain House serves to their honored guests. BUNS is a delightful and charming story about two people struggling with their direction in life.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Nuts
Cream of the Crop
Buns

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Share

Down and Dirty by Tracy Wolff-a review

DOWN AND DIRTY by Tracy Wolff-a review

Down and Dirty

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

Emerson: Talk about bad first impressions. I have too much riding on this job to show up late on my first day looking like the winner of a wet T-shirt contest, all thanks to an arrogant quarterback who drives like he owns the road. Hunter Browning thinks that because he’s famous, he can fix everything with a smile and a wave of his hand. He’s too bronzed, buff, and beautiful for his own good. Or mine. I can’t let on that I’m a fan . . . no matter how much fun we’d have in the sack.

Hunter: Hitting that puddle was my best play since winning the Super Bowl with a touchdown pass. Sure, it’s not my preferred way to get a girl wet, but I’ll make an exception for Emerson Day. She’s got a sharp tongue and a red-hot temper, even with her soaking clothes plastered to her every curve. Now I know exactly what my next play will be: hire Emerson as my personal real-estate agent, save her job—and see if I can take her off the market.

••••••••••

REVIEW: DOWN AND DIRTY by Tracy Wolff is a stand alone, contemporary adult, erotic romance story line focusing on star quarterback Hunter Browning and realtor Emerson Day.

Told from dual first person points of view (Emerson and Hunter) DOWN AND DIRTY follows the building relationship between Lightning quarterback Hunter Browning and realtor Emerson Day. Hunter needs a house and finds himself oddly attracted to new agent Emerson Day-a woman with attitude to spare since her run in with our story line hero only minutes before. When Hunter chooses Emerson as his real estate agent, our heroine is determined to find the man exactly what he needs. What ensues are the quick building romance between Hunter and Emerson, and the fall out when Hunter’s life implodes behind the scenes.

The relationship between Hunter and Emerson is quick to develop-from enemies to friends to lovers within a matter of hours, Hunter’s attraction to Emerson finds our story line hero considering the future with a woman he has known for a couple of days. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. The sexual attraction is palpable; the chemistry is energetic and hot.

We are introduced to Hunter’s teammates: Tanner Green, Shawn Wilson, and Cameron Smith, as well as Hunter’s sister Heather, niece Lucy and nephew Brent; Emerson’s boss Kerry, and fellow agent Alice. I am hoping for more story lines focusing on the San Diego Lightning.

The world building looks at family and friendships, love and loss, grief and acceptance. The character development is limited, as the story line remains focused on the present without revealing any history or background for our leading couple.

DOWN AND DIRTY is a quick read; a fast paced, spirited story line of romance, loss and a happily ever after. The premise is realistic and tangible; the characters are passionate and colorful; the romance is spicy and provocative. DOWN AND DIRTY is a playful, energetic and emotional story line.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Share

Viable Threat (Outbreak Task Force #1) by Julie Rowe-Review and Book Tour

Viable Threat (Outbreak Task Force #1) by Julie Rowe-Review and Book Tour

Viable Threat Banner

VIABLE THREAT
Outbreak Task Force #1
by Julie Rowe
Release Date: May 22, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense

Viable Threat

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 22, 2017

Special Forces soldier and medic Walter River would give anything to snatch more than a few seconds of down time to see if he can rattle the no-nonsense and incredibly hot Dr. Lloyd he’s protecting, but dodging explosions, snipers, and student radicals who’ve unleashed a lethal bio-engineered microorganism have made that almost impossible. Maybe he’ll get a chance—if he can figure out how to keep them both alive.

CDC microbiologist Ava Lloyd races to find a cure for a bio-terrorism organism sweeping El Paso. The few stolen moments with her very hunky bodyguard River have been explosive, but no matter how alluring he is, she can’t afford to get distracted. The clock is ticking, people are dying by the hundreds, and once this crisis is solved, they’ll both be off on their next assignment, thousands of miles apart.

•••••••••

REVIEW: Viable Threat begins with Walter River going through a regular day, teaching the soldiers at Fort Bliss how to survive a day in the military, when he finds himself reassigned to help the CDC with a mysterious outbreak. His orders: protect Dr. Ava Lloyd as she gathers samples at an outbreak site at the local college. Once he and Ava head out, things go awry very quickly. As they make the scene at a coffee shop that seems to be ground zero for the outbreak, they are faced with an agitated crowd of onlookers that River has to take control of pretty quickly. If only that was their biggest obstacle……….. When Ava is then approached by a disoriented college aged guy, who just happens to be wearing a suicide vest, things get A LOT wonky real fast.

With the CDC being in charge of the situation going on in El Paso, River and Ava find themselves having to navigate different governmental agencies who are vying for control of the situation. There are two things that River and Ava agree on: 1. Not all of the agencies are there for the same reasons. 2. In order to stop the terrorists behind the outbreak, they will have to work together. As the death count continues to rise and things start to spin even further out of control, River and Ava fight with everything they are to protect the general population, and themselves, from this homegrown threat. They also fight their growing attraction to one another……

Viable Threat is a great story. The premise, especially in this day and time, is timely and a little scary. River’s honor knows no bounds and is a nicely written character. He has a past that we only get hints of in this story, but said past has affected him greatly. Ava is a nicely written character as well. She has a strong sense of self and goes toe to toe with the best of them. Together, their courage leaps off of the page. The supporting cast is nicely written as well and the world Rowe is building is great to read. There are a couple of characters that I can’t wait to know more about. I’m hoping that the next book is about a certain character who works in his “lab in a box”and has a bit of a secretive past. This is the first I’ve ready by Julie Rowe, but I definitely look forward to reading more. If you like your romance with a little suspense, medical intrigue and terrific characters, you won’t go wrong with this one. Well done, Julie Rowe!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Vickie M

About the Author

Julie RoweJulie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!” A double Golden Heart finalist 2006, Julie’s writing has appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. She currently facilitates communication workshops for her local city college. Julie enjoys hearing from her readers. You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com or on Twitter  https://twitter.com/JulieRoweAuthor

Share

Grand Slam (The Boys of Summer #3) by Heidi McLaughlin-Review and Book Tour

GRAND SLAM (The Boys of Summer #3) by Heidi McLaughlin-Review and Book Tour

Grand Slam Banner

GRAND SLAM
The Boys of Summer #3
by Heidi McLaughlin
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, baseball, romance

Grand Slam

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo / ibooks / Google Play

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rzsmEu

Win the game. Lose your heart.

Everyone knows who I am and that I could have any female fan I want. That’s supposed to be the “perk” of playing left field for the Boston Renegades. But I don’t want just any woman; I want her.

She should be just another face in the crowd, but I can’t stop thinking about the one night we spent together-and her look of regret the morning after.

Because Saylor Blackwell is the kind of woman who haunts a man. Smart, sexy as hell, and one of the best managers in the business. She’s every ballplayer’s dream woman. And I’d do anything to make things right with her.

I’m done sitting on the bench when it comes to Saylor Blackwell. Time to swing for the fences.

•••••••••

REVIEW: GRAND SLAM is the third installment in Heidi McLaughlin’s contemporary, adult THE BOYS OF SUMMER baseball, romance series focusing on the Boston Renegades. This is Boston Renegades’ left fielder Travis Kidd, and PR agent Saylor Blackwell’s story line. GRAND SLAM can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous installments is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual first person points of view (Travis and Saylor) follows the second chance romance between Boston Renegades’ left fielder Travis Kidd, and PR agent Saylor Blackwell. Without giving away too much information GRAND SLAM focuses on the off-season as Travis must traverse a minefield of legal drama, slanderous accusations, and the less than stellar support of the fans and some of his teammates. Enter PR Agent Saylor Blackwell, the only woman able to clear Travis’s name, and the woman that calls to our hero’s heart. What ensues is a stress filled legal battle to save Travis Kidd, as he struggles to convince the woman he loves that he is innocent of all of the charges.

GRAND SLAM is a story of betrayal, defamation and retribution but it is also a story about one woman’s struggle to do what is right for a man she doesn’t believe is as innocent as he claims. As Travis battles the media, the fans and the legal system, Saylor battles for her heart and that of her young daughter.

The relationship between Travis and Saylor is one of second chances. Two years earlier, following a one-night stand, Saylor walked out of Travis’s life without explanation, and in the ensuing time has acted cold and deceptive when ever in his presence. Their rekindling relationship and romance is complicated when Saylor’s young daughter begins to fall in love with the man in question. The $ex scenes are limited but seductive.

There are a large number of secondary and supporting characters including several members of the Boston Renegades: Ethan and Daisy (Third Base #1), Cooper and Ainsley (Home Run #2), as well as attorneys, agents, top office brass, family, friends and fans who may or may not support their fallen hero.

The world building focuses on the relationship between Saylor and Travis, as well as the legal problems of our leading hero. Not everyone is willing to offer Travis their support including some of the members of his very own team. I struggled with our heroine’s less than cooperative behavior throughout the story. Fearing repercussion in her own life, Saylor’s questionable attitude was awkward, heartbreaking and tragic. The potential fall-out for Travis Kidd meant a life darkened by secrets, betrayal and lies.

GRAND SLAM is a gripping and passionate story line. The premise is edgy; the characters are colorful and dynamic but our heroine’s lack of action was discouraging and disappointing under the circumstances; the romance was sexy but challenging. GRAND SLAM will captivate your imagination and break your heart.

Reading Order and previous reviews
Third Base
Home Run
Grand Slam

Copy supplied for review.

Reviewed by Sandy

Q & A

Hi Heidi. Welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of GRAND SLAM. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

1. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Let’s see. I’m a mom of two living in Vermont. I’m originally from the Pacific Northwest, where I developed a love for the Portland Trialblazers and Seattle Mariners. Now I’m a fan of all baseball teams, the Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins and New England Patriots. When I’m not writing, I spend my weekends (and some weeknights) at the basketball gym watching my daughters play.

2. Who or what influenced your career in writing?

It was challenge that I gave myself. I love reading and thought that if they can do it, so can I. So I did. I turned my journaling into paragraphs, put stories behind photos I would see and started developing characters.

3. What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your story?

Marketing. It’s hard. There is no right way to get the word out.

4. Would you please tell us something about the premise of GRAND SLAM and THE BOYS OF SUMMER series?

A few years back Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks was accused of rape, right around the time I released Third Base. I knew then that it would Travis Kidd who went through a similar situation.

5. Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Absolutely. People are visual. The cover is the first thing they see.

Thank you Heidi for the great answers. Always a pleasure to feature the author at The Reading Cafe.

excerpt

Excerpt intended for mature readers 18+

 

 

Whenever I wake up with a hangover, I often ask myself why I drank so much and promise that I’ll never do it again. That promise is something I’ve been breaking for the past few days, and up until now, I didn’t care.
I had hoped the booze would muddy my memory of last night, but it hasn’t. Every word she said, every expression she had, every punch to my chest to get me out of her apartment is crystal clear. I fucked up, and I don’t even know how. All I know is that the sobs I heard on the other side of Saylor’s door last night were enough to sober my stupid ass up.
For hours, I sat against her door, until a resident suggested I leave or they were going to call the police. If I hadn’t been arrested ear- lier, I probably would have encouraged them to dial Boston’s Finest. Another man might understand my plight. The woman that I want to be with kicked me out of her house, and while I probably deserved it, I didn’t want to leave until she stopped crying. I didn’t want to be the one to walk away in her time of need.
But as egos go—and believe me, mine is huge—I couldn’t let it get in the way any longer, so I walked my drunk ass back home with my tail between my legs, only to stay up all night while the booze wore off, knowing that I had to live with whatever I’d done to Saylor.
She’s the last person in the world who I want to hurt, and she’s the one person who can save me. Not only from a life behind bars, but from myself. When I’m with her, I’m a different person. The cocky son of a bitch whom everyone is used to doesn’t exist when she’s near me, and frankly, that is the man I like, or at least I used to. It’s easier being a fucking douche. It’s second nature to me and comes with the territory of being named one of the city’s most eligible bachelors.
Except when I’m with Saylor, I can be the man who hides in the shadow of that Travis Kidd. I can be the kind of man who doesn’t have to have a one-liner available or wink in order to get a phone number. When I’m with her, life outside of baseball starts to have a meaning, a fucking purpose.

 

 

 

The Boys of Summer

About The Author Black and Red

Heidi McLaughlin: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter /Instagram /Pinterest

Heidi McLaughlin Originally from Portland, Oregon and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.

When she isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting courtside during either daughter’s basketball games.

Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, is currently in production for a major motion picture.

 

rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: The Reading Cafe is NOT responsible for the rafflecopter giveaway. If you have any questions, please contact the tour provider.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Forever romance

Share