Monday, July 18, 2016

ARC Review: Hands On

Have I mentioned Entangled Publishing is my favorite publisher? Which is why I'm back reviewing a new release from their Scorched imprint. Check it out below!

Title: Hands On
Series: Hands On, #1
Author: Cathryn Fox
Publisher: Entangled: Scorched
Release Date: July 18, 2016
Pages: 80
Buy Links: Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Blurb:

When hot as hell Danielle Lang showed up and asked me to teach her about sex, I thought I was hallucinating. Turns out the beautiful psychologist needed an extra bit of schooling in all things sexual so she could teach a class.
I’m always up for helping a friend. I mean, it’s the least I can do. What I wasn’t expecting is for her to turn the tables and teach me a few things. Only this short-term promise of two weeks in her bed is going by a little too quickly. Not that I’m thinking forever or anything.
I’ve got a football career to get back to. And she doesn’t want to be a part of my world. There’s no way we can be together—so I’m going to make sure I enjoy every sexy second….
This is the first of a three-part series full of mind-blowing sex, featuring a dirty-mouthed football player who knows the score and an inexperienced therapist who needs to learn it. HANDS ON is sure to leave readers begging for more. The next installment, Body Contact, will be published August 2016.
The Hands On serial is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Hands On
Book #2 Body Contact (available in August)
Book #3 Full Exposure (available in September)

Humorous and sexy, Hands On is a must-read and I wish all three books were already published!

Danielle's character was so likeable that I was left wanting the rest of the series as soon as I finished this book. She was so naive and downright cute when she was in Jack's presence. 

Jack definitely was a dirty-mouthed guy, and to be honest, that was one of my favorite traits when reading a book like this. However, besides that little tidbit, he was also "not an asshole" as he said. He didn't want to just take what she was offering, but instead, he wanted it to be good for her. Who knew, maybe even the best one she'd ever have.

The cliffhanger of this book seriously had me gasping and sputtering in confusion as to why a book would be ended in such a way, forever wishing it was one full novel instead of a novella. The struggle was real when it came to my desire to finish the story closer to midnight with a great disregard for the fact I had work the next day. 

I just... I need the next book now! please :)

Grab a copy of this book; you won't regret it.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

RWA16: Day 3 - July 16


It's the last day of the conference and I decided to go by myself because I wanted to go to two signings and my friend on the first day didn't warm up to the idea. Thankfully, I didn't mind going by myself, and if you knew me, you'd know that was such a big step. I dislike crowds and being in public to begin with, but there was something about this conference that really just gave me the courage to go. Besides, I would be networking. When I came to functions as part of work, I usually don't feel as scared.

Anyway, I was about 20 minutes late to the first signing and I'd missed the books, but I was glad to still meet the authors that were still there. I got a lot of free downloads and lovely chats with authors who wrote for LoveSwept. Such sweet people as well!

I was not able to get any photos, but it was a great time! After I left the signing, I made my way to Starbucks to get my Grande Decaf Soy Mocha Frappuccino. I was a bit disappointed when they didn't want to give me my free drink, but what really threw me over was when I got my receipt and it said the drink was almost $8! Well damn. Anyway, I didn't let that dampen my day as I went to search for a comfortable chair to settle and read my current review book.

I didn't end up reading, but scrolling through Twitter instead. That's when I found Alisha Rai's tweet saying she was outside one of the ballrooms still giving away books. I tweeted saying there was a crowd and I was afraid (lol, of course). She said to come over and wave and she'd pull me through. Again, I don't know where the scared Arianne was, because I went searching for Alisha and when I found her, she did pull me through (figuratively) into the group. I ended up taking home one of her books and I can't wait to read it!


After meeting Alisha, I went back to Starbucks because I was to meet another author for lunch. First of all, how cool was that?! I just got there, and apparently, right behind me was my date -- Robin Bielman! We had an hour with each other and she treated me to lunch while I talked her ear off. She also gave me one of her books and one of Kate Willoughby's books. I was over-the-moon excited and happy for the gesture. Honestly, it was a bit surreal to be having lunch with an author I love. I mean, could this conference be any crazier!



Apparently, it could. After my lunch with Robin, I went to the Sourcebooks signing and for once, I was on time, but I wasn't the first 40 people so I missed out on a tote bag, but that's okay. I didn't miss out on the books! Oh my gosh, just look at the first photo in this post. It was insane how many books I picked up! I can't wait to read them all and write about them here.



I also met Mia Hopkins who was hanging around the signing. What a sweet woman! We had a short chat and she gave me some advice about the industry. I love how helpful her information was. Very thankful for that!



When I felt a bit overwhelmed and tired, I stepped out and texted Pam again. She found me and we walked together for a little bit, then we sat down to chat. Sometime during our chat, Cindy Sample walked by and Pam introduced me. She ended taking a stack of my business cards to give to her colleagues. Oh my gosh, mind blown again! After that, I went back to meet a couple more authors in the Sourcebooks signing, and then I decided to head home.

Overall, attending the RWA conference was the best decision I've made and I couldn't even express to you how happy it made me. I hadn't been this happy in a while and this conference made me feel alive! *insert the biggest grin here*


Anyway, if you haven't seen it yet, check out my vlog about the event, and there you can see just how smiley I got!



Giveaway: I posted two giveaways on my Twitter. Check them out below. Winners chosen 7/19/16 (or longer if no one enters lol)
2 Winners https://twitter.com/ariannecruz07/status/754893111717801988
1 Winner https://twitter.com/ariannecruz07/status/754892255987511298


RWA16: Day 2 - July 14


I brought my new roommate with me on the second day. We were so late because I got the times wrong! I totally missed the Kensington signing and I was so bummed, but I did make it towards the end of the Indie Signing. I met Crista McHugh, finally! She had three awards at her table -- what a legend! The rest of the authors I planned to see already left :'(


I saw Sorcha Mowbray hanging out so I chatted with her for a bit. She advised that I go back and see who else I could meet, so I did. Someone told me that the books were actually free and my mind was blown to bits. I was so excited that I got to meet authors AND get their books to read! I ended up with three books, all romantic suspense -- my faves!


After I met everyone I could, I texted my client Pamela DuMond to see if she wanted to meet up. Thankfully, I caught her just in time before she went on to her meeting. What a lovely woman. She was talking about me to her friend Angie Fox while I was still there. My heart swelled in gratitude. Oh, did I mention I brought her a Chocolate Chocolate Chip bundtlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes? One of her main character is a baker so I thought it was only appropriate ;)


After meeting Pam, I waited an hour for a special author. I really just wanted a hug and a selfie, but she didn't see my tweet until later, but no worries, I waited with my roommie anyway. When I finally saw her, it gave me pure joy. Who wouldn't be happy to see Lisa Kessler? That woman beamed happiness!


Overall, Day 2 was a success. I had fun even though we were so late!

Giveaway: I posted two giveaways on my Twitter. Check them out below. Winners chosen 7/19/16 (or longer if no one enters lol)
2 Winners https://twitter.com/ariannecruz07/status/754893111717801988
1 Winner https://twitter.com/ariannecruz07/status/754892255987511298

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#RWA16 Day 1: July 13


The first day of the Romance Writers of America Conference was so much fun! There were over 400 authors at the Literacy Autographing event. I was half an hour late, but I was glad that I made it there with my friend. I never fangirled ever, but I did for this conference. I couldn't help myself. I was really happy and I was in my element.


My first stop was Laura Kaye. I knew she was going to be there so I made a beeline to her table with my friend in tow. Luckily, she wasn't talking to anyone when I got there, so I was able to say hi right away, get a hug, and then a selfie. First fangirl moment!


My next stop was Sorcha Mowbray. She writes really steamy books. Thankfully this time, I could take a photo with her! This was actually the second time we met, but the first time, I couldn't take a photo. 


I don't remember the order from here, but I also met Linda Thomas-Sundstrom. The legend behind the rich world of paranormal romance. She brought her vampire wine and a new addition, which was a ken doll that looked pretty much like the cover model of one of her books. Awesome!


I had no idea that Melissa Cutler was going to be at the signing, so when I saw her, I lost my sh**. Fangirl to the extreme! She's one of my absolute fave, albeit local, author :) So, of course, I bought the book she had at the table, duh :)


Next up was Catherine Bybee. This woman was the epitome of all things goals. She always looked like that woman you wished you could be. She also had an amazing shoe collection that's stored in the most amazing closet. I swear, Catherine is probably secretly royalty of some country.


When I saw Jaci Burton, I knew I had to meet her. I own a couple of her books, but hadn't read them. That sure didn't stop me from telling her that and buying her newest book, though!


Up next was PC Cast. She wasn't the one signing, but she was so excited nonetheless. I was so happy to finally meet half of the duo that was responsible for the series that made me into the bookworm I am now. I wasn't able to chat with Kristin, but I was kind of star struck for some reason. These two are such legends!



I was supposed to meet Brenda at the LA Times Book Festival, but she had already left when I got there. So, when I saw her at the signing, I had to introduce myself because Carlene Love told me I needed to meet her. There she was, with cake pops at her table. Then my friend ended up fangirling, so there was that :)


Finally, I met Sylvia Day. I also have a few of her books, but I hadn't had the chance to read them. But I still came to meet her and she was such a sweetheart. Also, her face and her books were all over the hotel! I totally fangirled and possibly embarrassed myself a little bit. (Okay, maybe a lot.)

Towards the end, I saw a table with Nora Roberts' name on it, but there was no Nora! I was so bummed that I missed her. I didn't even know she was going to be there, but I would have loved to meet such a legend! Even authors I love are fans of her.

Anyway, the whole event was such a blast that I didn't even want to leave. But alas, we had to pay for our books and then go home. My friend and I stopped by In-N-Out before heading to our respective cities.

Stay tuned for Day 2 and Day 3! :)

Giveaway: I posted two giveaways on my Twitter. Check them out below. Winners chosen 7/19/16 (or longer if no one enters lol)
2 Winners https://twitter.com/ariannecruz07/status/754893111717801988
1 Winner https://twitter.com/ariannecruz07/status/754892255987511298

Friday, July 15, 2016

Review: Love Redeemed

I'm plowing through the Market Series, so here's my review of book #2 :)

Title: Love Redeemed
Series: The Market, #2
Author: Sorcha Mowbray
Publisher: Amour Press
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Pages: 94
Buy Links: Amazon | BN | ARe | iBooks | Kobo

Blurb:

Brennan Whitling wants for nothing but the love of a good woman. He has a close family, good friends, and a successful textiles import business. But, a beautiful and elusive young woman he has only seen from afar haunts him. Until a chance meeting leads to far more than dinner. 

Serena Freemont has only ever known the life of a prostitute. When an invitation to dinner by a handsome gentleman provides her an opportunity to experience life as a young lady, it’s too tempting to pass up. Much like the man issuing it. After a night of passion she must disappear or face his reaction when the truth is revealed. 

To find happiness Serena must shed her past long enough to realize she is worthy of a future. To win her heart, Brennan must show her the redemptive power of love.



This book had dash of romance and a healthy sprinkle of sexy.

The attraction between Brennan and Serena were instantaneous. The push and pull of the two characters were quite interesting to read. I liked Serena's righteousness despite her livelihood as well as Brennan's persistence. The man really did not want to give up no matter what!

There were moments when the characters would say something silly and those were the moments I really enjoyed! It showed a bit of depth to the characters instead of just being so focused on the sex or the courting. 

Brennan: "You, madame, are only permitted to wear this dress for me, here in our home. Are we clear?"
Serena: "Quite."
Brennan: "I have other demands I shall enumerate for you at our earliest convenience, but for the moment I think I shall investigate this gown further."

I also liked the possessiveness that overtook Serena sometime during the story. I do love a fierce woman, and she was feisty when she was angry! Overall, this was an enjoyable short read. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: Rough

This is the very first book of Skye Warren that I've read. Shall we talk about how it made me feel? Hint: OMG.

Title: Rough
Series: Chicago Underground, #1
Author: Skye Warren
Self-Published
Release Date: May 24, 2015
Pages: 164
Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks | BN | Google Play | Kobo

Blurb:

Survival doesn't come easy...

I'm a cautionary tale. A single teenage mother from the poor part of town. A victim. Most of the time I'm too busy working and struggling to care what people think. 

And men? They aren't afraid to take what they want.

Then I meet Colin. He takes more than a few stolen hours. He demands more than my body. He wants my heart and soul--my happily ever after. I never thought I'd be Cinderella. I never thought a man that rough could be my prince.



I've never felt like this before. The desperation to get the rest of the series is so strong. Or at least get the next two books to learn what happened to Colin and Allie. Wait... am I getting ahead of myself? Let's back track and talk about these two amazing people.

Allie was "damaged goods". Somehow, she lived her life thinking that she deserved pain and being taken roughly...until she met Colin.

I swear, I said it out loud that men like Colin surely don't exist. I mean, he was just too good to be true! He was absolutely perfect, even though he had secrets of his own.

Colin gave Allie what he knew she needed as opposed to what she thought she needed. Colin touched Allie's soul, and in return, Skye Warren touched a place of my heart that no. other. author has ever done before. BOLD CLAIM.  I know. 

Now, I don't know what to do with myself. I need to get the rest of the books or I might lose part of my sanity. I mean, just read the excerpt below and you'll know what I mean.

***

The tears fell in streams then, making my voice all high and wavery as I tried to explain. "I'm sorry. I know you said dinner, and I tried to make it, but I just didn't...I didn't have time, you know? Or the ability to cook, either. I'm so sorry."
"Stop apologizing," he cut in.
"But--"
"No, listen. I didn't mean you'd have to cook. I can cook, or we can go out. Don't stress out."
"I am so beyond stressed," I said, watery.
"Let's order pizza."
The consideration and utter simplicity of the gesture touched me. "Really?"
He handed the ice pack off to me and pulled out his cell phone. "Ordering now. What do you want?"
"But the organic," I said. "And the grass feeding. I know you don't just order pizza."
"Pepperoni with extra chemicals? Got it," he said to me before he turned to the phone to place a real order.
I swiped at the tears, but they didn't want to stop. While relief flooded me, I toyed with the empty box of lasagna noodles on the kitchen table. Idly I read the fine print.
"Hell," I said. "You're supposed to boil these first?"
"Silly mommy," Bailey said.

***

You see? Please get this book. It's free so you all can meet Colin and Allie, too. Oh wait, did I mention I started reading this book and I never put it down until I finished it? Okay, go get the book :)