The Goddess by M.A. Abraham – Review & Anniversary Giveaway

The Goddess by M.A. Abraham – Review & Anniversary Giveaway

 

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M.A. Abraham is graciously offering a Kindle to one commenter, and an e-copy of The Goddess to two (2) lucky commenters

There will be THREE (3) winners: a Kindle e-reader to one commenter, and an e-copy of The Goddess to two (2) lucky commenters

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E-copy of The Goddess is open internationally

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Description:
Chania has lived most of her life in seclusion. She was placed amongst the humans that had once come to the aid of her ancestors, many millenniums before. She kept secreted by the head priestess, and revered as a Goddess by the people. She knows she is not what they think she is. She is an Elven Princess in hiding, and content to stay that way.

Daeron is an Elven/Dragon shapeshifter, who has served as second in command of the Guardians of the Elven Empire for a long time. He comes from a long line of Kings, and has proven himself worthy of his position of life. He is a proud, noble, Golden Dragon, when he is not an Elf. He is not so pleased with the sudden match making ambitions of his leader though, especially when he has been singled out to be mated with one of the leader’s daughters. He is not about to give in without a fight. He will not be used in this manner, not by anyone.

Captured by her father’s guardians and forced to his side, Chania, learns her fate. She is no happier about their upcoming nuptials than Daeron. They recognize the Life Bond they share, but under the circumstances, refuse to allow it to dictate their future. Can they fight an attraction that no Elf has ever been able to deny?

 

Review:

The Goddess by M.A. Abraham is the 1st book in her new Guardians of the Empire.  I have read every book by M.A. Abraham, and I continued to be amazed how her stories continue to get better and better, not to mention her wonderful imagination.  I am happy to say that The Goddess is the start of another great series that takes place in the same world, but of course a different time and characters .

The Goddess is set thousands years past the finale of the Elven Chronicles.  When that series ended, all surviving humans were granted a land called The Valley, where they were able to live prosperous and in peace.   Over the years, these humans did not remember the Elves, who were hidden and unseen in their portal.  

Chania, our heroine, is the goddess, but she is also an oracle and a white dragon.  Chania is still young, and learning; but she does have visions and sees a war on the horizon.  Chania lives in the Valley (human territory) that is led by Britallia (High Priestess), who also has visions.  She protects Chania, who loves to shift to her white dragon.  One day she goes too far, and is caught by Gold Dragons, who will bring her home to the land of her father, where she will see her mother and sister, Serena again.  Seems her mother took the girls years before, because her lifemate, King Gerolth was acting like a dictator.  Now all three have returned, and the King is happy to have them back.  But the Gold Dragons are determined to keep an eye on the wild escapades of the girls.

Chania knows that with the war coming soon, she needs to return to the human world to help them fight off the enemy.  She makes plans with Serena to be prepared to escape within the next month or so.  But Daeron,a leader of the Gold Dragons, and who is a loner and arrogant, knows she is his lifemate and is determined to take her at any cost.  Chania feels the attraction and bond to Daeron, but he has  been possessive and domineering,  not like a  lifemate should be treated as an equal.  Her father, and his brother try to reason with Daeron and his dragon, but he only gets angry at them all, until Chania and Serena finally escape, with Serena going to the Elves for help.

We meet the new General of the Elven Army, Gabriella, who is an Eagle Claw and a descendant of Gabriel. She is a powerful and fierce warrior, who will take charge of the mission to help the humans, working closely with Britallia, and her warrior brothers, as well as Chania.

What follows is an exciting and wonderful adventure, where we will follow three of the most powerful women, and their great warriors/dragons to fight an enemy that has thousands of warriors more than they do.  But it was wonderful to see all the weapons the Elves will bring in: dragons, birds, sword wielding warriors,  thatchers; all the things we remember so well from the Elven Chronicles.  

I do not want to say too much more, as you need to read this book, and meet all the fascinating characters Abraham has created for us to savior.  I loved Gabriella, Britallia and Chania.  For a bit, I was not a fan of Daeron, but closer to the end, changed for the better.  The Goddess was an entertaining, fun, exciting, suspenseful, lifemate romance, and a wonderfuj cast of characters.  I for one I cannot wait to see what comes next.  The Goddess by M.A. Abraham was a super start to this new series, which you should read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for Review

 

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Lady Gone Wicked by Elizabeth Bright – a Review

Lady Gone Wicked by Elizabeth Bright – a Review

 

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Description:
 Nicholas Eastwood is finally about to get everything he ever wanted. As a reward for his service to the Crown, he has been offered the title of marquess. All he has to do is stay scandal-free until the papers are signed. There’s just one problem: His ex-lover, presumed dead, is remarkably alive.

Adelaide Bursnell is determined to right her wrongs. She will be a dutiful daughter and loving sister. Most importantly, she must marry before her scandal catches up to her. Nicholas was once her ruin, but now he is determined to be her salvation. If he can find her a suitable husband, their shared past can stay buried.

But old temptations prove impossible to resist and scandal can never stay secret for long…

 

 

Review:

Although Lady Gone Wicked is considered book #2, in the Wicked Secrets series, you don’t have to read the first.  It does feature characters from the first book “Twice as Wicked” but it doesn’t really detract from the book.

Nicholas is a spy and soldier for the crown. But he’s a rogue and the black sheep of the family. And he’s finally come good, if he can stay out of trouble he will be given the title of “Marquess” and he will be able to hold his head up high in society again, but there is trouble coming round the corner…… 

Adelaide had the misfortune to fall in love with Nick and have his baby. She was then sent was to a convent in France by her parents to have her baby in secret (the shame of a child out of wedlock). But she disappeared and was thought to be dead for the last two years.

Adelaide has a twin sister called Alice. (Yes the same Alice from book 1). In Alice’s book, Alice came to avenge Adelaide’s death and downfall at Nicholas’s hand, and tried to kill him. Needless to say, all she did was fall for his “twin” brother. (Well ….. maybe she tried to shoot him a few times 😉) 

The two sisters are reunited and it becomes clear that Adelaide wants her past to disappear and to marry into a good family. But there are twists and turns that keep Adelaide and Nicholas bumping into each other. 

Nicholas wants Adelaide to marry into a good family and will try to “help” her regain her good name. But with the heat simmering away between them, it’s only a matter of time before something explodes. 

Lady Gone Wicked is a well written story, and again the characters come to life, and the secondary characters make you hope that they get stories too. A few laugh out loud moments, and a few moments where you almost reach for the tissues. 

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy provided by Publisher

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Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella – a Review

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella – a Review

 

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Description:
A witty and emotionally charged novel that delves into the heart of a marriage, and how those we love and think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most—from #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella

 
After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in. 
           
They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all.
           
With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

 

 

Review:

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella is a standalone novel.  I have read a number of novels by Kinsella, who does write stories with humor and craziness.  Early on though, I did have mixed feelings, as I thought some of the things were border line silly. Ok, now for my review.

Sylvie and Dan have been married for 10 years, and have twin girls.  They are very happy in their marriage and lives.  When they go to the doctor for their annual checkups, the doctor tells them they can both live to 100. Instead of being happy, they think about spending the next 68 years together, and doing the same things.  It freaks them both out (rolls eyes). They decide to come up with ways to keep things new and they call it Project Surprise.   One after another, they surprise each other with food, tickets, furniture, clothes; trying to outdo each other.  Frankly I did not really find this humorous, the craziness was more annoying.  But that is me. 

When the story centered on Sylvie’s job as a fundraiser, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and their two girls were adorable.  The story also focuses on Sylvie’s deceased dad, who was a powerful fundraiser and well respected, though for some reason, Dan and her father did not get along.   When Dan brings some old friends to visit, Sylvie meets Dan’s old girl friend, and becomes jealous. At this point, the story does change a lot, and I did enjoy the last half of the book.

What follows is Sylvie’s attempt to help fix her job’s fundraising money drive, which was well done and interesting.   Sylvie is also begins to think Dan is having an affair, and this part of the story was at times funny and life changing.  Sylvie will learn the truth about her father, and his disrespect for Dan; as well as the lies her family kept from her.

I really enjoyed the last half of the book, which became more about family, trust, perceptions, communications, and hidden truths.  Surprise Me had a bit of everything, including Kinsella’s trademark humor, emotional drama, some suspense, family and marriage issues. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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By The Book by Julia Sonneborn – a Review

By The Book by Julia Sonneborn – a Review

 

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Description:
An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past…and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

 

 

Review:

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn is a standalone novel that is a modern day retelling on Jane Austin’s ‘Persuasion’.  Anne Corey, our heroine, is a 32 year old English professor at Fairfax liberal arts college; who is also in the midst of writing a book.  During the storyline, we get to see many of the reject letters Anne receives from publishers, and it is important for her to sell her book to gain a permanent tenure with the school.    

Anne is shocked to learn that her ex-fiancé, Adam Martinez is now coming on board to the college as the new President.  She hasn’t seen Adam in 13 years, and it is at the reception for the new president that they come face to face.  Adam is very pleasant to Anne, but she does her best to welcome him to Fairfax, and keep her distance.  Anne meets Rick, a famous novelist, who has become a resident in the college in between his books.  Rick and Anne become friends, and eventually lovers.  Rick does not like Adam, having had a bad experience with him at another school.  He tells Anne all about the things Adam did, and Anne faithfully believes him.  But things are not as they seem.

When Anne’s father gets ill, it is Adam who will be around to help her, and a friendship resumes, though neither want anything more.  But when Rick is never around when she needs hi m, and Adam is, Anne will begin to open her eyes.  Rick turned out not to be what she thought, and his career takes a dive when truths are revealed about him.  

I thought all the characters in this book were all fun and relatable.  Anne was very well written by Sonneborn, and you couldn’t help but like her.  Her best friend at the college, Larry was a riot; and a good loyal friend to Anne.  Adam proved to be the right man for Anne, but it took almost to the end for both of them to reveal their true feelings. 

By the Book was a sweet story, based on similarities of Austen’s Persuasion.   I enjoyed the book, though it was a bit slow early on.   I would have liked to see more of Anne and Adam, as not much in the romantic sense was done.  Though I did love the ending, which  was very sweet. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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The Penthouse Pact by Cathryn Fox – a Review

The Penthouse Pact by Cathryn Fox – a Review

 

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Description:
Billionaire software developer Parker Braxton knows everyone wants something from him. That’s why he made a multi-million-dollar bachelor pact with his friends to never marry. But he never counted on running into, literally, the quiet but sensual Layla Fallon.

Layla isn’t afraid of hard work. Still, there is no light at the end of her student-loan tunnel. When Stuck-Up Suit—Parker Braxton—accidentally runs her over, it’s the last things she needs. She refuses his help, but he’s persistent. He’s also handsome, kinder than she ever expected, and she’s doing her best to ignore her attraction. Which is harder than it sounds when she’s recuperating at his penthouse.

Sparks fly. Hearts flutter. But falling for Layla could cost Parker more than just several million dollars.

 

Review:

Penthouse Pact is the first book in The Bachelor Pact series by Cathryn Fox.

Parker Braxton is a billionaire software developer and president of SKYWEB, America’s leading producer of computer software. While in the process of his daily rush, driving past his favorite coffee shop Uncommon Grounds, he accidentally runs his car into Layla
Fallon. As soon as the accident happens, Parker realizes that the knows the woman he just hit.  It is the same woman that serves him his Grande Americano every morning at the coffee shop.  

This is the last thing Layla needs. She is a struggling student, who is behind on her rent, has no medical insurance and now has one “Stuck-up-suit” guy hitting her with his car.
Parker realizes what he has done and when he sees that Layla is bleeding he insists on taking her to the hospital. To which she loudly and boldly protests. But Parker is persistent and insistent that Layla allow him to take care of her and have her seen at the hospital.

Layla has a concussion and once Parker realizes she has no friend coming to pick her up or to look after her for the next few days, he insists that she come and stay with him.
But he has never invited any woman to his penthouse.  Let alone offering to have them stay.  After several disagreements, stubborn Layla finally agrees to spend one night with Parker. 

That one night turns into weeks when Parker takes her home only to find a main water line has broken in front of her apartment causing it to flood.  With no option of anywhere else to go – she begrudgingly returns to Parker’s penthouse. 

But Layla can’t afford to miss class, work or another rent payment.   And Parker does everything in his power to step up and do the right thing. When she realizes that the guy she used to call Stuck-up-Suit genuinely wants to take care of her and make sure she is ok. She slowly begins to open up and trust in him. 

Parker has no idea why his body betrays him every time he gets close to Layla; or why she has such an influence over him. But what he does know is that he has a pact with five men from his Yale secret society.  You walk down the aisle, you pay each man one million dollars.

Paker Braxton is cocky, arrogant and extremely good looking. And while he comes off as quite stuffy and all business in the beginning – he begins to grow on you.  The more he wants to take care of Layla, the more you begin to fall for him.  He is sweet and genuine at heart.  I loved how he began to become less business as his body began to betray him anytime he was near Layla.

Layla Fallon is one tough cookie.  She has had a rough life and has been on her own for quite some time.  She struggles to pay her rent, to pay for school. She struggles, yet she continues to move forward.  When she realizes that she has not gone unnoticed by stuck up Parker and that just maybe he isn’t as rude and cocky as he comes off.  She slowly begins to warm to him.  And the fact that her body does one thing while her brain screams another, makes for a hot and steamy read.

I look forward to continuing this series. It was a fun and playful read and the author beautifully paints a world of words that makes you want to find out more.
I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a hot, steamy quick read.

Reviewed by Erin

Copy provided by Publisher

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That Killer Smile by Juliet Lyons – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

That Killer Smile by Juliet Lyons – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

 

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Description:
THERE WILL BE HEAT…

Vampire Catherine Adair gave up trying to find her perfect match ages ago. But that didn’t stop her from founding London’s super successful vampire dating site. When a smoldering vampire overlord from her past launches an interspecies speed-dating service, Catherine vows to crush the competition….

WHEN THESE TWO COMPETE
Ronin’s new venture is purely about getting Catherine’s attention. He hasn’t stopped thinking about her ever since the night she gave him the cold shoulder. Nobody gets away from Ronin McDermott that easily…

 

 

Review:

That Killer Smile by Juliette Lyons is the 3rd book in her Bite Nights series.  With each book in this series, it keeps getting better and better. and I loved the couple in this book.  Unfortunately, this is supposed to be the final book in the series.   Refresher:   Bite Nights is a paranormal story line revolving around a dating service for vampires and humans.   

Catherine (Cat) Adair, our heroine, is the owner of V-Date online dating service.  Cat is a loner, being 185 years old, she is happy to stay home and watch TV with her cat, Wentworth.  Lol I have to say, I absolutely adored Wentworth.  Cat is also independent, smart, beautiful and self sufficient. When she gets word that people are leaving her dating service to another one, Cat decides to investigate.

Ronin McDermott , our hero, is ancient vampire demon, who runs his own nightclub for humans and vampires.  He is a womanizer, very macho, and is used to having things done his way.  He has never forgotten his one night stand years ago with the beautiful Cat Adair, who hates him. Ronin decides to start his own dating service, knowing it will force Cat to come to him.   Whoa…does she ever

Cat can’t stand the egotistical Ronin, but when she is billed for a date gone wrong, which actually happened in Ronin’s club, she pushes herself into his office unannounced, and by the time she leaves, Ronin knows he wants her again.  He will go see her to plead his case and offer to pay the bill. Cat is determined to chase him, but before he goes he kisses her, and the chemistry between them was hotter than hell.  Neither of them can resist each other, and a scorching steamy romance begins, that will eventually change into something more than sizzling sex; is it possible that these two could be in love??   Wow (fans self), they were totally awesome together. 

While their romance was heating up continuously, Ronin becomes involved in investigating some vampire deaths.  When one of his own men is murdered, Ronin and another ancient vampire will join hands to find the killer.  The last ¼ was very exciting and tense, as Cat’s life was now in danger to be the next victim.  Will Ronin be able to save her?

What I also loved about Ronin and Cat, was their own vulnerability, which they eventually shared about what they suffered through their own terrible dark past.  It was emotional to see, and uplifting to watch as they help each other to move on.   I also enjoyed the secondary characters, who were fun. but Wentworth was priceless; he even had a say about her boyfriends; of course, he purred with Ronin.

I really loved That Killer Smile, as Juliet Lyons adds a lot of delightful humor throughout this fun sexy story.  I absolutely adored the ending, which had a super epilogue.  If you enjoy a fun, steamy romance, hot sexy couple, with an element of danger and humor, I suggest you read this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

For a few seconds, I’m lost for words. But as I stare between the bag on the floor and Ronin’s chiseled face, it all becomes clear.
“This is about you wanting me to owe you, isn’t it?” I hiss, fixing my gaze on his left ear. It’s a trick I learned from the last time we met. If I don’t look directly into his eyes, there’s less chance of being drawn into their swirling, blue depths.
He smiles, shaking his head. “You’re unbelievable, do you know that?”
“Pfffft,” I erupt. “I’m unbelievable? I’m not the one trying to tank my business by spreading rumors and launching a dating service. I’m not the one going out of his way to ensure our paths keep crossing in the worst possible ways.”
He frowns, displaying the first sign of irritation since I crashed into the room. “I’ve already told you, mo chridhe, it wasn’t me who started those rumors. And as for the speed dating, well, it was a free country last time I checked. I’m offering you the cash because the fella was injured in my club. Which means technically he’s my responsibility. If you don’t take the money now, I’ll have someone deliver it to his lawyer’s office later. I have their address now, after all.”
He waves the letter in the air like a victory flag.
“I’ll call them up,” I blurt out, voice quavering. “I’ll tell them you’re a madman and not to accept it. I’ll say it’s not your money at all, that you conned the life savings from some poor old man with dementia.”
Ronin arches a brow, tucking the letter into an inside pocket of his jacket. “That’s some novel you’re writing there, Catherine, but I doubt they would argue if I write them a Coutts check, do you?”
I’m all out of ammunition. “I loathe you.”
For a split second, his cocksureness wavers, the steely-blue eyes darkening. But only for a moment. “The problem isn’t me, Catherine,” he says, edging closer. “The problem is you.”
I straighten up. “That’s the most irritating thing about you, Ronin—you always think you know better than everybody else. I’m not sure whether it’s because you’ve been around longer than the rest of us or because you’re just a massive asshole. Either way, you don’t know the first thing about me.”
He flashes a cocky grin, raking his gaze over me as if he has X-ray vision. “You don’t loathe me, mo chridhe. You just can’t get over the fact you’re an uptight puritan who loved the kind of sex I gave you that night we spent together.”
I let out a high-pitched laugh. “That’s right, Ronin. Let’s not forget for one second that the world revolves around you and your penis. Actually, I’m surprised you’re even bothering to get dressed these days. I would have thought you’d have developed a penchant for silky, red pajamas and slippers by now.” I motion to the cigar on the carpet. “Looks like you’ve nailed the smoking part, and God knows the Playboy bunnies must be hiding around here somewhere.”
He scoffs. “Jealous?”
“Please, you’re not that good in bed.”
Except he is—or was. Better than good. But I can’t think about that right now. Or ever again, actually.
“Paulo was right about you,” he murmurs. “You are a mad bitch.”
I close the distance between us in a single stride and smack him across the cheek. It’s like hitting stone. He doesn’t so much as flinch. For some bizarre reason, this ignites a hot stab of lust in the pit of my stomach. His scent—a masculine blend of whiskey, leather, and woodsmoke—infiltrates my senses. I’m transported back to that night some years ago when we went at it like two wildcats in his bed.
I never wanted to come up for air.
I’m standing too close to use the ear trick. His eyes drag me in, two penetrating blue flames, dark with anger. I gulp, allowing my gaze to wander over his chiseled-from-rock cheekbones, rosy Celtic skin, copper hair slicked back from a noble forehead. He may be an asshole, but there is no denying his beauty.
For what feels like an eternity, neither of us move. We remain locked onto each other, energy—good and bad—swirling between us like thick fog.
Quite without thinking, I hiss, “Fucker.” After spending my human life afraid to speak, I never managed to rewire the connection between my brain and mouth.
His blue eyes flash. At once, his lips are on mine and his arms are around my waist. Instead of struggling, I mold myself into the hard contours of his body, my tongue sliding over his, my hands pulling him closer, and I hate myself—Lord, how I despise myself—for how good it feels. It’s as though he brings a magnifying glass up to all the base urges I long to forget, including this—an utterly ridiculous sexual attraction to a demon playboy who’s murdered God knows how many during his thousands of years on earth.
I don’t pull away. I can’t. He absorbs me like a drug. Before I can help myself, my fingers are tangled in his thick, red hair and I’m allowing his hands to cup my ass, grinding against the hard rope of an erection bulging beneath his trousers. We devour each other, eyes and mouths open, until I’m no longer sure where he begins and I end.
But then he takes his mouth from mine, trailing kisses from jawline to neck. Along with the rasp of stubble, I feel a scrape of fangs, sharp as knives, glide across my skin. I shove him away, panting slightly, averting my eyes to the lacquered walnut desk in the center of the room. If I don’t stop this now, I’ll end up sprawled across that table just like all the other women he’s had in here. The worst part is, I’d enjoy it.
“Consider the debt paid,” I say.


 

 


JULIET LYONS is a paranormal romance author from the UK. She holds a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and works part-time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time discussing Harry Potter. Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has received millions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over the world. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

 

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Website:  Facebook:  Twitter: Wattpad:  Goodreads:

 

 

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The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

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Description:
He’ll do what it takes
To win
Her heart

Glory Day may be losing her vision, but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever stop fighting. Determined to provide for her struggling family, she confronts an outlaw with a price on his head. But when a mysterious cowboy gets between her and her target, Glory accidentally shoots him instead. Flustered, she has no option but to take the handsome stranger home to treat his wounds.

Former Texas Ranger Luke McClain didn’t plan to fall in love, but there’s no denying the strength of Glory’s will or the sweetness of her heart. But Glory’s been burned before, and Luke will have to reach into the depths of his own battered soul to convince her to take a chance…

And trust that love is worth fighting for.

 

 

Review:

The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday is the 2nd book in her Texas Heroes series.  I loved the first book in this series, and I am happy to say this was as equally as good. I do not read much western romances, but I have come to love Linda Broday’s writing and I will continue to read her books. 

Glory Day is our heroine, and she was a wonderful one at that.  Glory is tough, not like the fancy woman living in her town.  Glory has to take care of her family, as they are in dire straits financially with her father in jail for something he did not commit.   Glory wears britches, and goes out hunting daily for food; one day she finds an outlaw, who has a big bounty on his head, and just when she plans to bring him in, another cowboy arrives almost at the same time and they argue who gets to take the man in.  When they are not looking the outlaw pulls the rifle away from Glory and it ricochets and shoots the cowboy in the leg, not to mention the outlaw gets away.

Luke McClain, our hero, whom we met in the first book, is the cowboy, who will come to stay with Glory and her family, while she helps to heal the wound.  Luke is a former Texas Ranger, who lost his job being framed by someone, who he is searching for to clear his name.

Glory’s family was amazing.  Her youngest sister, Patience was so sweet and cute, and a nonstop talker. Hope, was the middle sister, who was more helpful to Glory, and also the cook in the family.  Their mother, who misses her husband, is somewhat of an invalid, but later we learn she was addicted to some medicine.  Luke recuperates in this house, and in a short time he learns to care about them all.  He also finds himself falling hard for Glory, despite her tough cowgirl look. Glory herself is also finding herself attracted to the handsome Luke, but she is a bit stubborn, unable to accept that he really does care about her

Luke will overhear the problems they have financially and the threat of foreclosure on their house.  He wants to help them, but Glory is determined to find a way to fix things herself, not what she thinks is charity.  When he leaves to find the outlaw, Glory will catch up with him, as she needs the money.  The story also adds another element, with Glory slowly losing her eye sight. 

Luke will leave again, after paying off their foreclosure, and saying goodbye to Glory.  He is going on a mission undercover (he doesn’t tell her) and feels he could be killed.  Will Luke survive and come back to Glory? 

I really loved this heartwarming story, as Glory and Luke were such a great couple.  The family was also fun to be with, and it was great to see Duel and Jessie (previous book heroes) again closer to the end to help Luke. Linda Broday once again gives us another wonderful couple, sweet romance,  great secondary characters, action and so very well written.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

 

A light touch on Glory’s shoulder gave her a start. The hand surely belonged to Luke, for only he could loosen this flurry inside. She blinked several times, cursing the inability to see what he held. At last the item came into view.

A toothbrush. A real one.

Glory whirled. Every well-planned, scathing remark vanished, not even the mere footprint of one remained in her head. She cradled the treasure with wonder.

“You hankered for one of these the first time I saw you in the emporium. I also recall how you had to bite your tongue to keep from giving those girls their comeuppance.” Quiet challenge lay beneath Luke’s words. He dared her to refuse something she so desired. If she could.

Moral indignation that had burned so hotly before deserted her. “I thought you didn’t notice me that day. You appeared quite taken with the…other patrons.”

“Oh, I noticed.”

In a Monday that held more twists and turns than a dog’s hind leg, his barely audible reply and intent stare added yet more bewilderment. Why did he have to go and make her forget her outrage? Awfully difficult to harbor a grudge when he seemed intent on filling her head with hope.

She stared at the object in her palm, afraid it would fade into thin air as the genie in the Arabian Nights had. Fairy tales were for children, not grown women who knew better. McClain couldn’t be Aladdin—unless he whipped out a magic carpet. This night she wouldn’t rule out anything.

“Say something, Glory.” Hope gave her a sharp poke.

Patience grinned. “If you wanna kiss him, we’ll hide our eyes.”

Hell’s bells! If she didn’t die of mortification, it would be a sheer miracle.

“I know you want to,” Patience crowed. “Leastways that’s what you wrote in your private book.”

“What kind of woman would pass up a kiss?” Luke raised her chin with the lightest of nudges.

Her legs threatened to buckle. Powerless in the spell of his gaze, she marveled at the rakish curve of his mouth. The essence of him wrapped around, over, and inside her as she gladly stepped onto his magic carpet.

One more kiss wouldn’t hurt anything.

A sudden scurry of feet seemed in the distance. Glory’s ears pounded. His frenzied heartbeat jumped through the fabric of his shirt. She sank into the curve of his arm because he stole her will to step back.

The kiss that began with tender softness deepened. She shuddered under his caress, a piece of clay in the hands of a master.

Her feverish skin throbbed with some strange need she didn’t comprehend. She only knew if she died in his arms this second, she would depart the world in a state of bliss.

When he lifted his head at last, she would have fallen without his steadying support. She rested her face on his broad chest for a moment to still the dizzying whirl.

“Thank you.” His murmur came faint as a breeze through willows. His ragged breath ruffled her hair.

A few seconds later, she remembered where they stood and the liberties she’d allowed. Never before had she been so carefree. Or so warm. “Good heavens!” She patted her hair, giving the room a sweeping glance, relieved to find it empty. “I don’t know what came over me.”

“Whatever it was, I hope it remembers the way back.”

She groaned inwardly and lowered her eyes before he saw the answer. For the cost of a handful of wind she would stand before the preacher with him.

Darn him and his magic carpet!

Fact remained, no amount of wishing could erase the truth. Her father left…and so had her mother, though each in a different way. At the end of the day, she could put faith only in herself.
What hand of fate had flung him into her life? The man seemed to take extraordinary liberty in assaulting her with his presence at every turn—with no intention of staying.

“I need to ask where you got the money to pay off our note—and buy all this.” The pain inside made her voice sound cold.

“Will it matter?”

Glory wished for things that could never be. To stifle yearnings that swept her along like a dandelion in a sudden gust would take more will than she possibly had. And even more impossible…blocking the knowledge that she could forgive all else as long as he promised to never leave. She gripped the toothbrush. “I must know.”

“In my own time.” He brushed her cheek lightly with a fingertip.

Only after she could do a sight more than melt did she dare raise her eyes. “You’ve involved us in whatever it is you do.”

“Fair enough. First tell me what you were doing with your esteemed Dr. Dalton.”

Anger put her on familiar ground. She rested her hands on her hips and jutted her chin defiantly. Magic carpet rides were for damsels without obligations and those who could afford to daydream. “He’s not my anything. And I don’t have to justify it. Don’t let us keep you from wherever it is you need to mosey on to.”

“Fire and damnation! I’m trying to help.”

 

 


At a young age, LINDA BRODAY discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. After years of writing romance, it’s still tall rugged cowboys that spark her imagination. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold. She resides in the Texas Panhandle where she’s inspired every day.

 

Find Linda Online:
Website: https://www.lindabroday.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindabrodayauthor
Twitter: @LBroday
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1204489.Linda_Broday

 

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Enter to win a copy of the first book in Linda Broday’s Texas Heroes series, Knight on the Texas Plains

 

 

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The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk – a Review

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk – a Review

 

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

 

Description:
Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Each of them wonders: How different would my life be if this hadn’t happened? And now that it has . . . what’s next?

 

 

Review:

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk is a standalone YA novel about a group of young people brought together by music, and separated sadly by death. The story follows the POV of three people who have lost someone very close to them. We follow them as they grieve over the deaths that have left them emotionally damaged, with each dealing with it their own way.

Shay has lost her twin sister, Sasha, to cancer, and though she knew this was coming, she has a hard time dealing with her loss.  As she says: she is now ‘twinless”

Autumn lost her best friend, Tavia, in a car crash. She releases her grief by writing emails to her dead friend daily telling her about life without her.

Logan has lost his ex-boyfriend to an overdose.  Though a few months have passed since his boyfriend, Bram, dumped him, Logan has trouble dealing with his deathHe will need the help of a psychologist to eventually help him.

All three of them know each other through music and band, though they are not together to help each other.  Grief is always sad and emotional for everyone and their family or friends.   The story gives us a look at their grief, and how they are emotionally affected by the loss, which also has them cutting themselves from their other friends; as we get to see their pain, anger and at times their self blame.

We also get to meet each of their families and/or friends who are also affected by the deaths, and in time they will each come together in their love of music, and the band that was the link between them.  This is a difficult review to write, as it is a story that needs to be read.

Though at times I did find it a bit slow, the story was very well written, and grief can be depressing.  Even with this subject, Woodfolk did a very good job keeping this emotional story moving and not allowing it to stagger.   I thought this was a good story, though not my type of book.  If you like YA novels with action, suspense and exciting, then this is not for you. 

The Beauty That Remains is a well written story, with an excellent cast of characters that must find a way to get past their grief’s and move forward in life.  Essentially they need to see the beauty that remains in life.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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