Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer-Review and Giveaway

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer-Review and Giveaway

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LETTERS TO THE LOST
by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: YA, dark romance

Letters to the Lost

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 4, 2017

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

•••••••••••••

REVIEW: Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-renowned photojournalist. When her mom was away on assignment they would always write to each other.
So even in her mothers death she has continued to write to her. Leaving her handwritten letters to her mother at the cemetery. They are private and personal and just between
her and her mother. Its her way of staying connected to her mother. That is until someone reads one – and has the audacity to respond.

Declan Murphy is full on juvenile delinquent – at least that’s what everyone thinks of him. While doing his court appointed community service, he spends his time mowing the lawn
at the local cemetery. Part of the job he must do is pick up everyone’s personal belongings from the graves before he mows the lawn. There he finds a letter that
so entirely speaks to him, he has no choice but to respond. How could another person feel exactly the way he does. How can they know what it feels like to be him.
But, when Juliet realizes that someone has read her personal letter to her mother, and not only that but responded to it, to say she was quite upset is an understatement. When she writes back to let the person know that she feels that they have violated her privacy she has no idea what this will begin. And so begins a series of letters that help to heal both Juliet and Declan. But nothing comes easy. To find their way they must first find themselves.

Juliet is undoubtedly broken – she has been since the death of her mother. She has no one she can turn to or even begin to explain how she feels responsible for her mothers death.

She is the one that begged her mother to come home early from her trip. She is the one responsible for her being in the cab when she was. She knows had she not begged her mother to come home she would be here today. Declan has had a life just a rough. His father killed his sister and he too feels that he bears the blame of that. If he had just driven them that evening instead of telling his dad to drive himself. His sister would still be alive. He lives with that burden every day. He hasn’t dealt with any of this the way he should have. Instead he has broken the law and further feeds into what everyone thinks of him. His pain was absolutely real and my heart broke for him. Several times I was brought to tears with his words and how broken he was.

What an amazing, turbulent, truthful and powerful story. This story follows two teenagers through some stuff that no teenager should ever have to face. But through their letters – they realize that they are not alone in this. That someone is willing to listen and perhaps see beyond what’s masked on the outside. I enjoyed both characters of Juliet and Declan. Both tormented and tragic in their own lives. But when they begin to open up to one another – something magical happens. And it happens without judgment. When we can truly see the person for who they are not what their outward appearance seems to say. I loved how they interacted with each other at school – not knowing who the other was. Not knowing that they have a connection with each other and just don’t know it yet.

I loved the secondary character of Rev, Declan’s best friend. His story was just a complicated and complex as any I have ever read. I want to know so much more though. His ending in this book was perfect and left me teary eyed and smiling. I can’t wait to share this story with my teen daughter – she is going to absolutely love it as much as I did. Highly recommend.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Erin

 

About The Author

Brigid KemmererFollow: Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

BRIGID KEMMERER is author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas. She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.

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Brigid Kemmer’s publiscist is offering a finished copy of LETTERS TO THE LOST to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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9. Giveaway runs from April 15-19, 2017

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Sabotage (Under Covers #2) by Jessica Linden-Review, Interview & Giveaway

Sabotage (Under Covers #2) James Patterson’s Bookshots Flames by Jessica Linden-Review, Interview & Giveaway

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SABOTAGE
Under Covers #2
by Jessica Linden / James Patterson
Release Date: April 20 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense

Sabotage

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 20, 2017

The Most Dangerous Kind of Love

Secret Agent Abbie Whitmore is used to putting her life on the line, but she’s never endangered someone she loves. And now, Congressman Jonathan Lassiter is embroiled in a political scandal–and it could be all her fault.

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Original romances presented by JAMES PATTERSON Novels you can devour in a few hours Impossible to stop reading

•••••••••••••

REVIEW:  If I have to describe this book in one word it would be the word: Like. There was just a lot to like about the book, the big things and little things about the book. I mean where do I begin on what I liked about this book?

One thing I really appreciated about Sabotage was how both Abbie and Jonathan are able to keep their professional identities but still maintain their relationship. Being a secret agent and congressman can no doubt be time consuming careers but it endears me to the couple that they can make time for each other. Let’s just be honest here but in this time and age often times it feels we are unable to have both a romantic relationship along with the winning career. Often times we feel we can have one but not both. So in all honesty I feel when couples split due to one or both are concentrating on their careers is utter BS. Their downtime together whether they are having lunch at a restaurant or lounging around watching a Star Wars marathon at home was all the more endearing.

Another element I really enjoyed about the book was how the story just kept you on your toes about who the bad guy or girl is and why they are bent on revenge on Abbie. You also get glimpses of what’s going on in the head of the villain as they are implementing their actions in their ultimate plan. Sometimes it’s interesting to get in the minds on the villain to see them mentally justify the evil actions they are doing. It really was a fun journey following the mind of the villain but also Abbie following close on the villains heels to put a stop to the evil plan to screw over her love, Jonathan.

The thing is considering that the book was not very long, the character development and growth was satisfactory as well. Abbie is able to hand over the reins and control to others trusting them. While I can understand Jonathan’s feelings about being the man wanting to protect his woman even though she is very capable, he respects her fighting abilities.

A story that keeps you engaged and on your toes, positive career and relationship aspects, great character development, soft romantic scenes and the very best good triumphing over evil; for such a shorter book this book packs an awesome punch. Highly recommend and highly enjoyed.

Copy supplied by the publisher for review

Reviewed by Xtina

Interview-Black and Deep Rose

TRC: Hi Jessica and welcome to The Reading Café.

Congratulations on the release of SABOTAGE

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

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JESSICA LINDENJESSICA: I live in Virginia with my husband, two sons, two rescue dogs, and various other pets. I was a high school and college English teacher for thirteen years, but I gave that up nearly two years ago to focus on my writing. I don’t necessarily miss the teaching, but I definitely miss the students. Spending my days with teenagers was a lot of fun.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

JESSICA: I’ve had a lifelong love of books, so I can’t point to one specific influence. Mostly, I think it’s the pure joy I feel when I’m lost in a great book. I want to create that joy for my readers.

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

JESSICA: The publishing business is full of rejection, which sometimes makes it difficult to keep a positive outlook. Also, it’s tough when a reader leaves a negative review. Sometimes the bad stuff is easier to believe, you know?

SabotageTRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of SABOTAGE and the UNDER COVERS series?

JESSICA: I got the idea for Abbie’s character when I was driving to pick up my sons from TaeKwonDo. I thought it would be cool to have an agency similar to Angelina Jolie’s character’s agency in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Women tend to be underrepresented in law enforcement type jobs, but sometimes you need a woman to get the job done. Thus, the Cartwright Agency was born.

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

JESSICA: This is a tough one and something that all authors face. I play the “what if” game when I’m writing to try to put my characters in unusual situations. Often I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen until the words land on the page.

TRC: There is a fine line between romance, erotic, and erotica in many of today’s popular contemporary fiction. What do you believe accounts for the differences between the sub-genres in today’s romantic stories?

JESSICA: I don’t write erotic romance or erotica, but this is how I understand it. The focus of romance is the developing romantic relationship between a couple. Sex may or may not be part of that. In erotic romance, sex is an integral part of the relationship development and if it were taken out, there would be a huge hole in the story. However, there is still a developing romantic relationship. Erotica is more about the sex than the relationship.

TRC: Where should authors draw the line when writing romance vs erotic vs erotica story lines?

JESSICA: I don’t think there necessarily needs to be any line drawn, as long as it is communicated to the readers what they’re getting with a particular book.

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?

JESSICA: Yes. The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is totally bogus. No matter how excellent a book is, readers won’t pick it up if it has a horrible cover.

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

JESSICA: The characters direct the writing for me. I usually have a general idea where I want the story to go, but I don’t always know exactly how the story is going to get there until I get to know the characters in the first few chapters.

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?

JESSICA: I think this comes from making the characters relatable. Often in fiction, things happen that 99% of us will never experience in real life, but emotions are universal. So if the character is relatable and believable, then his/her emotions should translate. I think writers sometimes fail in this endeavor by not fully developing characters.

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

JESSICA: I actually don’t listen to music while writing because I find myself singing along instead of writing. It’s quite the show. LOL.

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

JESSICA: It depends on the situation. My husband is helpful, especially when it comes to technical or “manly” things, like the different kinds of guns and ammo. My author friend Marnee Blake is usually my go to for overarching plot and character issues. I’ll also turn to my agent and editor. I’m lucky to have a plethora of people I can call on.

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

JESSICA: Most authors can’t support themselves on their writing alone. I think a lot of people assume that if someone has a book published, they are rolling in money. That’s simply not the case.

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

JESSICA: I actually have a section like this on my website, so it’s hard to come up with another random obscure fact. I’ve recently become obsessed with my Happy Planner, and I even make my own stickers for it.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

JESSICA: I’m currently in the final stretch of writing the third book in my Fight for Me series.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

JESSICA: Nope! This interview was pretty thorough.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Calzones

Favorite Dessert
Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate

Favorite TV Show
I don’t watch TV. I seriously can’t remember the last time I turned it on.

Last Movie You Saw
The Lego Batman Movie

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Milk

Secret Celebrity Crush
Theo James

Last Vacation Destination
Bahamas

Do you have any pets?
Two dogs. My sons have guppies and a hamster.

Last book you read
It’s top secret—it was a book I judged for the RWA RITA contest.

TRC: Thank You Jessica for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulation on the release of Sabotage. We wish you all the best

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Jessica’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of
SABOTAGE 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.

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9. Giveaway runs from April 8-12, 2017

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Hannah’s Moon ( American Journey #5) by John A. Heldt-a review

Hannah’s Moon (American Journey #5) by John A Heldt-a review

Hannah's Moon

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 8, 2017

After struggling for years to have a child, Claire Rasmussen, 34, turns to adoption, only to find new obstacles on the path to motherhood. Then she gets an unlikely phone call and soon learns that a distant uncle possesses the secrets of time travel.

Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short. For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple, straightforward mission becomes a race for survival.

Filled with suspense, romance, and heartbreak, HANNAH’S MOON, the epic conclusion of the American Journey series, follows the lives of four spirited adults as they confront danger, choices, and change in the tense final months of World War II.

••••••••••

REVIEW:

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Predictably AMAZING John A. Heldt! Predictably INCREDIBLE John A. Heldt! I say predictably because I expect you to always deliver an easy flow, rich in history and charming time travel story with a dose of romance. You did it once again! 🙂

Hannah’s Moon by John A. Heldt is the 5th book of his American Journey, time travel, historical fiction, romance series and please PLEASE do yourself a favour and go back and read the first four books. This fifth book is his last book of this series and I am so sad to see it go. Truely! (small disclaimer .. all books can be read as standalones, but characters are revisited).

Claire Rasmussen is our leading lady and she was my fave of all the characters John has ever written. The book begins with utter devastation as Claire and Ron realize that holding their own child in their arms is too far out of their reach. Adoption is hard in current time, and both want a baby badly. Fate just so delivers a time travelling relative that thrust both Claire, Ron and David into 1945 just as WWII is slowing down. All three are soon met with the culture shock of what 1945 brings and while they have travelled with the intent of adopting a child during a time when orphans were plenty, they all begin to realize they are getting much more than they have bargained for.

Ron soon finds himself enlisted at a time when enlistment could mean death, Claire’s brother David is falling in love with a woman and Claire has to deal with being a woman with a child in an era she is not familiar with. So much more to it than all that but I am not spoiling any of this book for you!

John is an expert in my humble opinion, of writing many storylines concurrently and having them all flow together with no confusion what so ever. His writing style is so easy to follow, yet there is so much rich story packed into his pages. I always get a history lesson when reading this series and being a history lover you know I love that. I often find myself thinking about these books long after I am finished and I have concluded I think I may be living in the wrong era at times. LOL What an experience it would be to be a character in John A. Heldt’s book.

Speaking of characters .. incredibly developed, easy to fall in love with, easy to empathize and sympathize with, easy to grieve/be happy/be angry etc with them. Easy to identify with.

I feel like I have gushed so much in previous reviews, I am trying to find new ways to say the same thing. Hannah’s Moon is packed full of adventure, intrigue, suspense, romance and tied up in the end in a perfect way. As expected, I had a box of tissues on demand just incase and I absolutely needed them for this story!

Thank you John A. Heldt for allowing me to be one of your “go to” reviewers for this series. I strongly recommend this series to my fellow history lovers and anyone else who likes an intense ride when they allow themselves to get swept away in a story.

HAPPY READING!

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
September Sky
Mercer Street
Indiana Belle
Class of ’59
Hannah’s Moon

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Rachel T.

About The Author

John HeldtFollow John: Goodreads / Website/Blog/ Twitter /

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.

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Royally Bad ( Bad Boy Royals #1) by Nora Flite-Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

Royally Bad (Bad Boy Royals #1) by Nora Flite-Review,Excerpt and Giveaway

Royally Bad

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 1, 2017

Getting close to an arrogant bad boy like him is dangerous. Too bad it’s her only choice.

Kain Badd looks great on paper: rich, handsome, and he’s even a prince. But after spending a few minutes together, Sammy sees the real him—arrogant, possessive, and too hot for his own good. If she hadn’t agreed to help plan his sister’s wedding, she could have avoided him. Instead, she’s waking up in his bed after an unforgettable night she definitely wants to forget. But he won’t let her.

When Sammy thinks her life can’t get any crazier, the wedding is raided by the police, and she spends her first-ever night in jail. The irresistible Kain isn’t just bad in name—his family is connected to a dangerous underworld. Now she’s mixed up in a power struggle between his family’s empire and their rivals. She has no choice but to put herself back in this filthy prince’s extremely capable hands.

Sammy must trust Kain to keep her safe. She’s just not sure she can trust herself to resist temptation.

••••••••

REVIEW: 4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Oh how I love me a Bad Boy! Add a dash of royalty to him and I am sold baby! LOL

Royally Bad by Nora Flite is the first book in her contemporary romance series called “Bad Boy Royals”. This author is brand new to me, and I am happy to have found her as I am eagerly looking forward to the next books in this series.

Kain Badd (yup seriously that’s his last name ..lol) is one bad boy. A hottie in looks, a charmer in personality, he has never had trouble getting the ladies with his straight forward dirty approach. Love em’ and leave em’ has always worked for him and he has no intention of changing that anytime soon. Family and family business is tough work, and he has no time nor desire to worry about a partner as danger and money is the name of his game. A partner is just a worry no one needs. Until ….

Sammy is not necessarily a sweet innocent girl, but she is kind and very caring. She now owns a small wedding dress shop that is sucking in business in her small town, after returning home from a high fashion job in a large city, to take care of her sick mother while still grieving the loss of her father. YUP that’s as consuming as it sounds. She has no time, no interest in love. Until ….

Kain walks in to Sammy’s shop with his tornado of a twin sister (Oh Fran you stole this book ..lol), and before she can wrap her head around anything, Sammy is not only making Fran a wedding dress, but planning her rehearsal dinner, becoming the maid of honour, ending up in the very sexy sack with Kain, trying not to get killed, and living as a well kept prisoner for an undisclosed amount of time. WTF!? LOL Once she can actually stop and take a breathe, she has come to find that she has fallen in love with Kain as he has with her, and secrets so deep begin to surface. Secrets that this Royal Bad guy (oh and yes he is actually ROYAL) and perfect woman for him, have to live with … and then make sure their families can.

There is a whole lot of story going on. Twists and turns that seriously are incredible, and if you believe in fate, then you’ll get a kick out of this book. My only complaint would be that there was a lack of flow at times which took away from some of the believability. It felt like we’d go from one situation to the other and some of it felt far fetched. However, once I decided to let that be what it was, I just kicked back and went on the wild ride too! 🙂

A very fun, very sexy kind of read! If you like to laugh while you enjoy your bad boys, then this book is for you!

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel T

Copy supplied for review

 

excerpt

 

She held me like I was the only thing keeping her on the planet. It was a grip reserved for lovers or, in her case, people who had never been on a motorcycle before.

I didn’t have a spare helmet, so I’d forced her to wear mine while I went without. My father would have praised me while my mother would have cracked me upside my temple for choosing someone’s safety over my own.

But she wasn’t here.

And Sammy was.

My engine crackled, gravel flying away from my front tire as I pulled up outside the impound lot. The metal beast purred between my thighs, then it went silent. “Here we are,” I said, twisting to look at Sammy.

Inch by inch, she eased her hands off my middle. They were bent like claws, clearly cramped. I missed them instantly. When she pulled the helmet off, her hair fell from it in tangled strands.

The sight of her stunned face—wide lips, sparkling eyes, and tomato cheeks—made my heart jump. It was a confusing sensation that left me dizzy.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

She focused on me, blinking. “I know how it feels to be a cannonball.”

Laughter exploded from me. “That’s one way to describe it.” My hand came up, stroking hair from her forehead before I could stop myself. We touched through our skin . . . but it was more than that.

Heat plucked at the base of my neck. I couldn’t stop how my brushing fingertips became a firm palm cupping her cheek. My mouth tingled; I knew how she’d taste, I wanted to experience her soft lips as they buzzed with the last of her adrenaline.

Sammy started to lean in. In the blackness of her dilating pupils, I saw my half-open mouth. She must have seen her own expression in my eyes, too. My thumb grazed the corner of her lips; her hand closed on mine, pushing me away.

“Come on,” she said, leaving the helmet on the seat. “Let’s go.”

Recovering from the rejection, I followed her down. Her bare feet touched the hot gravel, but it was her bones—still vibrating with the violence of my bike—that gave up. Sammy buckled sideways, her dress flipping upward as her face crashed straight toward the ground.

Faster than I had any right to be . . . but I just needed to be . . . I caught her by her elbow. It was like the other day in my driveway all over again. We were tangled dancers, and while no one had seen us yesterday, a confused impound worker gawked at us now.

Gentle as a breeze, I scooped her up in my arms. Sammy gasped, which was good, because it muted my subtle groan. Holding her against me was pure pleasure. Her weight was perfect, just enough to keep me grounded so I wouldn’t float into the heavens.

“Kain, put me down.”

“Nope. Have you seen this place?” Stepping over rocks and broken glass, I headed for the gate. “You don’t want to put those heels back on, that’s fine. But if you try to step on this shit with your silky feet, you’ll be seeing blood.”

“My silky feet? Jeez, don’t tell me you have a foot fetish.”

The man waiting by the gate stood up like we were royalty coming his way. He had no clue that one of us actually was. “Hey there,” I said, squinting at his name tag. “. . . Larry. My lady friend here has a car she needs to grab. Show him the paperwork, Sammy.”

Pulling her purse into her lap, she fumbled the yellow papers out, handing them over. The young man took them hesitantly, saying, “Uh, all right. Give me your key, I’ll go grab it.”

Sammy gave them up, then we both watched as Larry trucked off across the giant lot of vehicles. It was like a graveyard for cars, their bodies in various degrees of decay.

The wind kicked dust up, and on instinct, I shielded Sammy from it. Doing so pushed my face close to the top of her head. Hair strands tickled my cheeks, a sensation as nice as her fingers would have been on the small of my back.

“Kain,” she whispered.

My veins quickened. “Yeah?”

“After this . . . I don’t want to see you again.”

 


 

About the author

Nora FliteA USA Today bestselling author, Nora Flite lives in Southern California, where the weather is warm and she doesn’t have to shovel snow—something she never grew to love in her tiny home state of Rhode Island. All her romances involve passionate, filthy, and slightly obsessive heroes—because those are clearly the best kind! She’s always been a writer, and you’ll probably have to pry her keyboard/pen/magical future writing device out of her cold, dead fingers before she’ll stop. Visit her at www.NoraFlite.com, or drop her a line at noraflite@gmail.com.
 
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The Duke of Desire (The Untouchables #4) by Darcy Burke-Review,Book Tour & Giveaway

The Duke of Desire (The Untouchables #4) by Darcy Burke-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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THE DUKE OF DESIRE
The Untouchables #4
by Darcy Burke
Release Date: March 28,2017
Genre: historical, romance

The Duke of Desire

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date: March 28 2017

Ten years ago Ivy Breckenridge’s life was ruined. She had to reinvent herself, and now, after painstakingly making her own way in the world, she’s nearly forgotten the dreams of home and family she’d once nurtured. Until one man peers into her soul and awakens every one of her hidden desires. But no matter how good he makes her feel, she can’t trust him—alone by choice is better than alone by necessity.

With a notorious reputation for training married women in the art of passion, Sebastian Westgate, Duke of Clare, is reviled by some and celebrated by others. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough to see past his charming exterior. When Ivy uncovers the man beneath, the seducer is suddenly the seduced. Enraptured by her mind and spirit, he wants more but revealing his darkest secrets is a price he won’t pay.

••••••••••••

REVIEW:  4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

OK small disclaimer before I start in on the review. I have NOT read the first three books in this series. This is the reason I knocked off .5 and to be honest it’s not really fair to the author, but I feel like I was missing something by not knowing the back story of some of these characters. Thank goodness there is some “retelling of storyline”, BUT I hate that feeling of not knowing the little ins and out that I know would of made this book a solid 5. SO .. please go back and read the first three books before starting with this one, I know I will be for sure.

OK .. on with the review ….

The Duke of Desire by Darcy Burke is the fourth book of her “Untouchable” Series. A historical romance, it was a fantastic read, and a series I am eager to really dive into.

Sebastien Westgate is the Duke of Clare, but he is known as The Duke of Desire by a group of friends. Sebastien has a rather odd job, especially for a man from the 1800’s. He like to bed married woman with their husbands consent in order to teach her how to find pleasure and to enjoy the marriage bed. Yup you read that right! LOL Sebastien is quite handsome, a little aloof is the sense that he only let’s people get so close, and while I admit I was a little put off by his choice of occupation, he really is endearing and quite interesting to read about.

Ivy Breckenridge is our heroine and truth be told she kinda stole this book for me. I loved her. She is smart, beautiful in her own way, and so broken from a tragic past she has pretty much sworn off the possibility of a marriage. She is a companion and likes things proper. It’s her defence mechanism, and a crutch. Something about her however, screamed for me to understand her.

Crazy arse sparks/heat, chemistry and tension .. OH MY … are happening between these two and while it takes them a while to get their lives and hearts aligned together, at the same time, it is one wild ride while they try. Lots of smexy scenes in this book that kept the smut lover in me very satisfied and a perfect amount of romance/angst to keep the romantic in me happy. These two have personal obstacles to get over before either can even entertain a love match. Their stories are sad, and when the HEA comes it’s rewarding.

I LOVE Darcy Burke’s writing style. I am really looking forward to diving into the previous books and maybe check out her other books. If you are looking for a truely endearing story about two people who take the path least travelled to find the other, with a side of “YAH THAT’S HOT!” then this book is absolutely for you!

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Copy supplied for review by Netgalley

Reviewed by Rachel T

The Duke of Desire Teaser

Excerpt

 

Ivy hurried downstairs and made her way across the hall to the drawing room, which was the center room at the back of the house. The group had started to thin—either to take part in some activity or rest before dinner.But because Ivy had the luck of the devil, she found Lady Dunn’s cane in a most inopportune place: the clutches of the Duke of Clare.

He stood near the chair Lady Dunn had vacated, her cane in his hand. His dark gaze swept toward Ivy. “It’s you.”

She resisted the urge to snatch the cane from his grasp and flee. “Yes.” She flicked a glance at his fingers. They were long and rather slender. Almost elegant. “I came for Lady Dunn’s cane.”

“You are her companion, then.” It wasn’t a question. He’d deduced the answer, and they both knew it. There was a cool confidence about him that was just shy of arrogance. His gaze raked over her, and she decided he wasn’t shy of anything.

“Yes. May I have it, please?” She held out her gloved hand.

“How about I offer it in trade for your name?”

She scowled at him. “How about you just give it to me and cease this preposterousness?” She kept her voice low, and the end of that word rushed from her mouth in an angry hiss.

He exhaled but didn’t look perturbed in the slightest. “I don’t know why you find my amiability preposterous.”

Because you’re a degenerate scoundrel. Instead of voicing what was in her mind, she forced a smile. “I am merely in a hurry. I am Miss Breckenridge. The cane, please?”

He set it in her hand but made sure to brush his fingertips along the edge of her palm.

Ivy closed her fist around the cane and yanked her hand back.

He arched a dark brow at her. “You’re a bit touchy, aren’t you?”

“And you’re more than a bit unseemly. Good afternoon.” She turned and marched from the drawing room, paying no attention to anyone who might’ve witnessed their conversation. She hadn’t noticed if anyone was close enough to hear them. No, she’d been too intent on him.


 

About The author

Darcy Burke

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

 

 

Connect:
Site: www.darcyburke.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans
Twitter: twitter.com/darcyburke
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823441.Darcy_Burke

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Code of Honor (Knights of Honor #3) by Alexa Aston-Review & Guest Post

Code of Honor (Knights of Honor #3) by Alexa Aston-Review & Guest Post

Code of Honor

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 27,2 017

365 A.D. – After the Earl of Sandbourne banishes his supposedly unfaithful wife to a convent, his young son Michael swears never to set foot on the family’s estate until after his father’s death. Michael will then claim his title as the new earl and restore his beloved mother to a place of honor.

Fifteen years pass, and the now-knighted Sir Michael Devereux serves Lord Geoffrey de Montfort at Kinwick Castle. He accompanies the nobleman and his family to a wedding, where Michael unknowingly falls in love with the bride before he even knows her identity.

Lady Elysande Le Cler is angry that her usually indulgent father went against her wishes and betrothed her to a stranger prior to his death. Now as her wedding day approaches, dread fills her—until she meets a dashing stranger who helps her deliver a foal. Elysande loses her heart to this knight, frustrated that they can never be together.

Join Michael and Elysande as they find fate has other plans in store for them.

••••••••••

REVIEW: Code of Honor is book three in the fabulous Knights of Honor series. This romantic highland story is the tale of Michael Devereux and Lady Elysande. There are appearances of familiar characters of the de Montforts (Geoffrey and Merryn) from previous books.

This is a very well written story about highland knights and the time period is 1365 A.D. Many issues are brought to the surface that women had at that time (being property with no rights…). Marriage was mostly arranged and not a matter of love or choice for the female and sometimes not for the male either.

This wonderfully romantic story is, however, a tale of true love winning over all odds. Sir Michael meets and falls in love with Elysande (name unknown to him at the time) as he helps her birth a foal in the stable at his liege lord’s sister’s estate. Complications arise when he finds she’s the bride-to-be that they’ve come to see married. And there the story begins and takes off with many twists and turns. Just when you think love wins…it turns again. I spent several hair pulling moments thinking…”what now!”

Alexa Aston is the pen name of one of my favorite authors, whose stories are well and truly woven with adventure, history and romance. She has never written one that has disappointed me and this story is no exception to that. If you have followed this marvelous series, you’ll enjoy this romantic adventure as it winds its way into your imagination and heart.
Grab a copy and sit back for a wonderful time!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

guest post

I wake up some days and have to think who I am. Most people don’t have that problem. They are who they are.

But I’m three people . . .

This all began when I started my writing journey. I sold Music For My Soul, a medieval romance, to Soul Mate Publishing October 2012. Immediately, my publisher told me I needed to create an author website, Facebook page, and begin tweeting. My last name is difficult to pronounce. I already had a FB page–and didn’t want to confuse my family and friends. So I decided I would go with a pen name. I could keep the Real Me and the Writer Me somewhat separated. Different emails would keep the personal and business sides organized. I was ready to select a new name!

I chose Lauren Linwood. I liked how it looked on the page. I love alliteration. And when I Googled the name, the only thing coming up was Linwood, NJ. This was opposed to the first name I came up with—already a NY jazz singer—and the second name I tried out—a porn star! After several attempts at selecting a pen name, I because Lauren—Identity #1.

Fast forward a few years. I recently signed on with Dragonblade Publishing, founded by the Queen of Medieval Romance, Kathryn Le Veque. Kathryn loved my writing but said I was all over the map, having writing four western historicals, three medieval romances, and two romantic suspense novels as Lauren. Kathryn emphasized branding and sticking with a single sub-genre of romance for at least ten novels in order to gain a reader base before I branched out. She also felt since Lauren had written in three different types of romance that I needed a new pen name for my Dragonblade books and a fresh start.

Thus, I became Alexa Aston—who will stick with writing historicals—while Lauren will keep with contemporary romance. I began again, creating for Alexa her own author website, personal and business FB pages, and opened a new Twitter account and email address. As Alexa, I’m the author of the Knights of Honor series. The series will run ten books long, but each one can be read as a standalone.

I’m ecstatic to be with a quality press such as Dragonblade Publishing, and I am having the time of my life writing my first romance series. I hope you will give the Knights of Honor a whirl. You can start Book 1, Word of Honor, for only 99 cents. It’s an Amazon exclusive, so if you’re in KU, you can begin reading the series for free! Word of Honor introduces Geoffrey and Merryn de Montfort, my anchor couple. They will appear in the remaining nine books, sometimes in a small role and at other times a larger one.

In the meantime, read Georgie’s review of Code of Honor—Book 3. Michael Devereux and Elysande Le Cler meet under unusual circumstances. Happy reading!

 

About the Author Black and Orange

Alexa Aston’s is the author of The Knights of Honor, a medieval romance series that takes place in 14th century England and centers on the de Montfort family. Each romance focuses on the code of chivalry that bound knights of this era.

A native Texan, Alexa lives with her husband in a Dallas suburb, where she eats her fair share of dark chocolate and plots out stories while she walks every morning. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and can’t get enough of Fixer Upper or Game of Thrones. Alexa also writes romantic suspense novels as Lauren Linwood.

Contact Info:

Website: https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexaaston/

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexaAston

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Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York-Review, Interview & Giveaway

Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York (presented by James Patterson)-Review, Interview, and Giveaway

Bedding the Highlander Banner

BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER
by Sabrina York
BookShots Flames presented by James Patterson
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highlander, romance

Bedding the Highlander

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 7, 2017

Only a Scot can steal her heart.
There’s nothing ladylike about Katherine Killin. She’s a spitfire who cannot be tamed. To rid himself of her, and to honor a truce set by the Duke of Glencoe, her father agrees to wed her to his clan’s mortal enemy, Ben Rannoch. But when Katherine meets the enticingly masculine Kirk Rannoch, brother of her betrothed, she suddenly craves domination.
BookShots Flames

Original romances presented by JAMES PATTERSON
Novels you can devour in a few hours
Impossible to stop reading

•••••••••••

REVIEW: Bedding the Highlander is a Book Shots Flames brand. This is a selection of stories that are well written with a sizzling romantic theme to their genre; today’s review is BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER by Sabrina York, presented by James Patterson. The books are priced at under $5.00 US and have approximately only 150 pages. Designed to be read in an evening or at work on lunch hours, etc. Interesting idea, but I, personally, love a good long well written story. But then, I’m retired and have lots of time to read.

Now to this captivating story.

The story is about rival clans in Glencoe, Scotland in 1603. The Duke of Glencoe, in order to try to make an alliance for peace, has ordered the marriage of Katherine Killin to the rival clan laird Ben Rannoch.

Kirk Rannoch, brother of Ben, and his friend Brodie have been assigned to bring Katherine from the Killin stronghold to the Rannoch keep to be wed to Ben. They are, understandably, reluctant to enter the Killin keep, as many don’t return. Unfortunately, when they do, they find the wrong Catherine…no misspelling, it seems many of the Killian Laird’s daughters, mostly illegitimate, are named a form of Catherine. However, they notice the one presented does not have the signature red hair of the real Katherine Killin. They are told the real Katherine has run off rather than be wed to their enemy and they don’t know where she is. Reluctantly, they leave.
During the trip back, while camping at night, two thieves try to take the men’s horses. They capture them only to find that they are females and both have a form of red hair. A romance between “Ann” (aka Katherine) and Kirk is immediate and sizzling.

Okay, that’s the set up and the rest must be read to be enjoyed. It’s only 150 pages and doesn’t take long. I found it to be incredibly entertaining and very well written. I loved her solution for not having to marry the laird…possibly brave, possibly foolish but very interesting! Sabrina York is a fine author and writes a very inventive period novel.

Give it a shot!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

Interview

TRC: Hi Sabrina. Welcome to The Reading Cafe.

Sabrina YorkSabrina: Thank you so much for having me! I am excited to be here!

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

Sabrina: Absolutely! My name is Sabrina York and I LOVE writing steamy, snarky romances…but I have ADD and enjoy writing in all sub genres (historical, contemporary, SEALs, Dukes, Highlanders and so on!).

Though I am predominantly published in romance, I also love writing in other genres like women’s fiction, fantasy, sci fi and more.

I think trying new things is important for working the writing muscles and keeps my writing fresh and fun.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Sabrina: My greatest influence was my mother, who refused to let me use my dyslexia as an excuse for not being an overachiever. She convinced me at an early age that this difficulty was actually a gift, because it allowed me to see things in ways other people might miss.

Indeed, it has been a gift, and so was having a mother so determined to help me succeed.

Although, I must say, I am also thankful for spellcheck and editors!

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

Sabrina: Dyslexia aside, I worked for years writing and polishing my work. I submitted to hundreds of editors and agents and received an encyclopedia full of rejections. Though my work won many awards, I just couldn’t seem to sell.

And then, just when I was about to give up (for a career of sitting on the sofa, eating bon bons and watching Toddlers in Tiaras) I miraculously sold my first book.

My advice to writers who are struggling is: Don’t give up. Keep trying.

Now that I am published (in traditional and indie worlds) my challenges are balancing projects with the business side of things. There are so many things I have to do that I never imagined.

It would be wonderful if being an author meant sitting back and writing books, but there is so much more to it, including accounting (ick), marketing, social media, events, conferences and more (especially for Indie writers!)

Bedding the HighlanderTRC: Would you please tell us something about BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER?

Sabrina: I am so excited about this story! It has been a glorious experience working with James Patterson, Laura Fazio and the team at Hachette!

The core story is that with the death of the queen and the ascension of James VI—and the union of the crowns between Scotland and England—the world has turned on its ear. The new king is determined to make the transition a peaceful one. He is adamant that Scotland not be seen as a land of savages, but loyal, peaceful subjects of the crown. He has commanded his dukes to maintain peace and squash unrest at all costs.

In light of the rising turmoil and increased hostilities amongst his highland clans, Nicholas Lennox, the Duke of Glencoe—acting on explicit orders from the newly ascended King James VI—has issued an ultimatum to his unmarried lairds, demanding they unite with their rival clans…through marriage.

As logical as this plan is, nothing seems to go right.

His first declaration is that Ben Rannoch, Laird of Rannoch should marry Katherine Killin, daughter of Cuithbeart Killin (The Rannoch’s mortal enemy).

In Bedding the Highlander, Kirk Rannoch is sent to collect his brother’s intended. He has no idea that Katherine is far from a biddable wench. The plucky redhead has decided to seduce Kirk in hopes of scuttling a wedding to his brother, the Beast of Rannoch.

Imagine Kirk’s chagrin when he realizes the woman he had bedded is not the maid he thought her to be, but his brother’s bride!

I came up with this idea when my husband and I were visiting Scotland last September. I’d never been there before and it was a wonderful time. One of the villages we visited was Kinloch Rannoch, the town my mother’s people came from. I decided that my next Highland romp had to take place there!

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

Sabrina: I live by a maxim that an author can do whatever she wants, as long as she does it well. So no matter the twists and turns I fold into the plot, they have to be masterfully executed.

You get a feeling in your gut, a little niggle, when things aren’t right. I’ve learned you cannot ignore that, no matter how much work it is to rewrite. I’ve also learned I am always so much happier when I get it right!

One of my favorite things to do is lead the reader down the garden path, make her expect that something typical will happen, and then flip the script! The secret here is having fully-formed characters who behave in genuine and authentic ways. Needless to say, I lean toward strong, determined and sometimes stubborn heroines.

TRC: Have you ever had the opportunity to visit the Highlands of Scotland, and if so, how much of an influence or impact did the visit have on your stories?

Sabrina: I most certainly did, but sadly, only one time. I would love to go back.

Laird of her HeartIt was fascinating visiting historical sites like Urquhart Castle (which featured in my Highland Time Travel, Laird of her Heart) and the battlefield at Culloden, thinking of all the lives that had been lived and lost in these places. We took a tour of the north coast where my Untamed Highlander Series took place.

Standing on the cliffs at Duncansby Head Lighthouse and staring out over the cold grey waters of the North Sea gave me a new appreciation for the strength and stamina of the Scottish people.

I took hundreds of pictures so I would remember the feelings, the sights and the faces. Some things change with the times, but others don’t. I often felt I had stepped back in time.

Mostly, I was suffused with this amazing feeling of coming home, which makes sense, because my mother’s people are Stewarts.

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

Sabrina: I love writing them all, because when I switch, it’s almost like taking a break. It makes work feel less like work. J

The genre I find most difficult is the one I am working on at any given time.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. But it ain’t easy!

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?

Sabrina: I believe the cover is the most important element these days because a good 90% of readers are buying books online. The cover is the first thing they notice, there in a sea of covers.

It has to be stellar, and it has to reflect the story accurately.

In polls I’ve done with my lovely street team, the cover is always the top ranking decision factor, with “An Author I Know and Love” as number two. That’s why it is also critical to write consistently excellent books and give the reader what they want.

From a personal perspective, I also believe that relationships are super important in this business, whether it is with publishers, other authors, industry professionals and, of course, readers. I offer lots of ways to connect with my readers from my VIP Facebook room, to my Street Team and a newsletter that offers exclusive contests and content.

Yes, it takes time away from writing to foster and maintain these relationships, but it think it is important to know for whom I am writing. Plus, they are damn wonderful people!

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

Sabrina: I have a trick. I start out with a fairly well developed outline, but then, when I get going, yes, the characters start talking to me. I have to listen. It is their story after all!

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 writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Sabrina: Absolutely. My job is to let the reader FEEL the story. To evoke and exploit emotion. My tactic is to write in what is called deep POV (Point of View). I only write one character per scene and everything from the language to the tone to the simmering emotions MUST be genuine and true to that character.

Another trick I learned is to keep the story moving. Focusing on the action and evolution of the story, I fold tidbits of information into dialog, reactions and internalizations rather than providing it in huge choking chunks. This is essential to KEEP THE READER IN THE STORY. I do not want you to put the book down! Long dull chunks of exposition are the perfect excuse to close the book and go have a root canal or something.

No! This cannot be allowed!!!!

As for writers who fail in invoking emotion, I’d like to say (and to be honest) we all have failed at one point or another. If we are lucky and/or smart, we have learned from it.

In my opinion, this failure (for wont of a better word) occurs when writers try to rush through scenes and assume the words they are putting on paper are having the effect they desire. I call this lazy writing and I am an expert at it. But the trick is in the editing. It is in the second, third or fourth pass when we flesh out the scene, maximize opportunities to stir emotions and cut out anything that gums up the works.

This last bit is where many writers struggle, because they are not inclined to murder their darlings. You know, that perfectly wicked turn of phrase, or the description of the train station we are in love with but goes on waaaaay too long for the reader to tolerate… That stuff needs to go, but writers in love with their own words don’t want to cut it.

Ask yourself is the story truly better or worse with this and then become a slasher.

In my humble opinion, writers only truly fail when they let their ego get in the way.

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

Sabrina: I love listening to music, but words distract me (muddles up the flow in my head) so the only music I listen to is classical. Fortunately, I love classical. It is supremely evocative.

Beethoven is a personal favorite (Appassionata and other such concertos), as well as Mozart and anything with the cello and oboe.

When I am in the “flow” the music does indeed influence me.

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

Sabrina: Believe it or not, no one in my family reads. Most of my friends are authors, but when we chat it is usually about other things (because we are all involved in our local chapter and conference). So no one, I suppose! Though I do occasionally talk to my agent about story ideas she would like to see.

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

Sabrina: I think they believe we live glamorous lives, which makes me giggle because I work from home, rarely leave the house and might have a conversation with one person other than my husband (or the dog). On a good day, I might actually get out of my PJs!

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

Sabrina: I’m an Army Brat, so I grew up traveling the world (though I don’t travel much anymore unless it is for work because I am so busy). Because we lived overseas when I was in college, I took a course in Ancient Egyptian History…in Egypt. I’ve actually been inside the Great Pyramid. Which was awesome…until I remembered I’m claustrophobic.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Sabrina: I am thrilled that St. Martin’s asked me to continue my Untamed Highlander Series. I am now plotting out Hamish’s story!

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Sabrina: I love to connect with readers. Here are my links! I also have a tiara fetish, so be sure to enter my giveaways!

Giveaways: http://sabrinayork.com/current-giveaways/

Get two free books when you sign up for my Newsletter: http://sabrinayork.com/gift/

Join my Street Team: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12s46UGgNUze1c3o3L8jIlXiLuhR5cFZjR83SCMElfw8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

Facebook VIP chat room: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SabrinaYorkChatAndContests/

CONNECT

Follow my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork

Friend my Facebook Profile Page https://www.facebook.com/sabrina.york.14

Like my Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaYorkBooks

Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york https://twitter.com/sabrina_york

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5817917.Sabrina_York

Check out my Pinterest boards: http://www.pinterest.com/sabrinayork/boards/

Sign up for Amazon alerts: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork

Sign up for alerts on new releases with other vendors: https://books2read.com/author/sabrina-york/subscribe/1/28367/

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Bacon

Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake

Favorite TV Show: Below Deck

Last Movie You Saw: Shawshank Redemption

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark

Secret Celebrity Crush: George Clooney (and it’s not so secret)

Last Vacation Destination: Los Angeles

Do you have any pets? A rottie mix named Lola

Last book you read: Tina Fey’s Bossypants

TRC: Thank you Sabrina for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of Bedding the Highlander

Sabrina: Thanks for letting me play!

 

Giveaway

Sabrina’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of
BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER 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.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

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3. Please like and follow Sabrina York’s Author Page on Facebook.

4. LIKE The Reading Cafe on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

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8. Giveaway is open internationally

9. Giveaway runs from March 17-21, 2017

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How To Tame a Beast in Seven Day (The Embraced #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks-a review

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced Series – #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks-a review

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days

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

Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, paranormal, romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy—and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

Review:
How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days begins at the Convent of the Two Moons, on the Isle of Moon, with five girls playing a game they had made up using “telling stones”. Luciana excelled at the game and her “sisters” loved having her tell them their futures. When Luciana picked the stones for herself: red as blood, black as death. Little did she know how profound those stones would be. As a storm nears the isle, the girls rush to secure their windows, only to be interrupted by a Sister from the convent telling Luciana that she is to come with her to meet someone who has just arrived. When Luciana presses the Sister as to whom she’s meeting, she is more than surprised to find out that it is her father. Luciana and her sisters had been raised at the convent since birth as orphans, never knowing that she or any of the others had any family left.

As Luciana enters to meet her father, she can’t help but wonder why she’d been raised as an orphan and why her family had sent her away. Torn between hurt and curiosity, she steels herself to face the man who, after nineteen years, has decided to visit. Once she realizes the truth of the danger her father is in and why she had been sent away, she makes a vow to help him in any way she can….even if it means they could both be killed. Her home is ruled by a greedy, power-hungry king, who informed her father that his daughter is to marry the king’s nephew, The Beast of Benwick. Rumors of the Beast and his power to harness lightning scare everyone, including Luciana. To save their legacy, and her father, Luciana embarks on a quest that will be life-changing for everyone. But, none more than she and the Beast.

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days is the first in a new series by Kerrelyn Sparks, whom I have adored for years. She’s created a new world which includes magic, shifters and great characters. Luciana, having been raised in a convent, is naïve about a lot of things, but it is her sense of loyalty, kindness and integrity that reaches out and grabs the reader. It doesn’t take her long to see that their situation is dire and she does everything in her power to ensure the safety of everyone in their keep. Leo, the Beast, is fierce, loyal and very smart. His uncle, the king, has tried more than once to have him killed, but, as Leo says, he’s hard to kill. When Luciana and Leo, along with their close inner circle of friends, soldiers and ghosts decide to take things into their own hands, they all fight tooth and nail to not only keep themselves alive, but everyone in their duchy. The secondary characters are AWESOME. I cannot wait to read more about them to find out how they ended up in their current situations. Sparks style of writing enraptured me the very first time I read one of her books. She writes with humor, which is always a plus, but it is her way of reaching into your heart that gets you every time. Her characters are relatable, the romances sweet and her world building is awe inspiring. If you’ve never read a Kerrelyn Sparks story, this would be a great place to start. Well done, Kerrelyn Sparks! Very well done!

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M

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