Saturday, December 26, 2015

Promo: A Cupcake Christmas

If you are having post-Christmas blues, check out Beth's latest book, A Cupcake Christmas!

Title: A Cupcake Christmas
Series: Touchstone Series, #5
Author: Beth Barany
Publisher: Firewolf Books
Release Date: December 25, 2015
Pages: 150
Buy Links: Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

Blurb:

What if you risked losing your baking legacy by cooking up a love truly special? 

Florian MacMillian needs a final job to complete his baking resume—preferably a job where he’s unlikely to blow things up with his unruly magic—before returning to the North Pole and taking his rightful place as Master Baker to all the elves. 

Kate Delore desperatelyneeds help in her fast-growing cupcake business in downtown San Francisco. Florian is a perfect fit, so she brings him on as baker. For a short time, Florian is happily up to his elbows in batter, and Kate’s business is booming. 

But when things heat up between them, Florian wonders if he should risk his legacy to cook up something truly special. 




Fun Facts about Beth Barany


-Her stories always have some kind of magic.
-She can say Thank You in over 15 languages.
-She has earned two belts, so far, in Capoiera.
-Her favorite city is Paris, France.
-She writes YA Fantasy to empower teen girls to be the heroes of their own lives.
-For her day job, she helps other novelists write, publish, and market their books as a creativity coach.




Sunday, December 20, 2015

Review: Sleeping Beau

Title: Sleeping Beau
Series: Fiery Tale, #4
Author: Lila DiPasqua
Self-Published
Release Date: December 18, 2015
Pages: 122
Buy Links: Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo

Blurb:

Inspired by the tale of Sleeping Beauty--an erotically charged historical romance novella from the acclaimed Fiery Tales series. One sleeping rake, one scorching kiss, one night of unforgettable passion...

Five years ago, the notorious rake, Adrien d'Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss--and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory.

Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress--and this time, he has no intention of letting her go...

**NOTE: Originally published in the AWAKENED BY A KISS anthology.




There's something very special about historical romance. Each encounter behind closed doors seemed extra special, possibly because the ladies in that era held such importance over propriety. I haven't read a historical romance in a while, to be honest, so I found this book a bit difficult to read at first.

However, when dialogues became more frequent between Adrien and his seductress, I started to feel the need to never stop reading until I'd finished the book.

"Speak to me of desire and I am interested. Speak to me of this ridiculous martyrdom, and I will direct my "interest" elsewhere."

I did appreciate Adrien's need for honesty. He wasn't like the other men of the era. In a way, he seemed a bit more modern because he didn't much care for what people thought of him. I really liked his three uncles as well. I wish there were more scenes with them. (I just realized as I was writing this review that the three uncles were supposed to be the three women in Sleeping Beauty. Doh!)

As for Adrien's seductress, I loved her courage and her strength. I also appreciated the fact that she wasn't shy when it came to asking for what she wanted, even though it was out of her comfort zone. 


Overall, the story had a great flow, although towards the end, I thought it seemed a bit rushed and all the fairy tale elements were thrown in the story at once. 

If you're looking for a short and sweet historical romance, I think this one is worth a read. 


Arianne

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Review: Man of Her Dreams

Title: Man of Her Dreams
Series: Welcome to Ravenwood, #1
Author: Sue Barr
Self-Published
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Pages: 137
Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon CA | BN | Kobo

I was sent an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb:

Making it in a man’s world as a home renovation expert is tough, but Lindsay Swanson’s up for the job – leaving no time for any kind of social life, until… 

Jared Kane moved to Ravenwood for some much needed peace and quiet to finish his next book, which is hard to do when his sexy neighbor is the one renovating his kitchen… 

Then Lindsay overhears Jared talking about her notebook. A notebook wherein she and her BFF – after one too many bad dates and one too many glasses wine – concocted a checklist of the perfect guy. Is Jared the real deal, or has he been molding himself into the man of her dreams to get past her defenses? 

The evidence points to his guilt, and the rift between them seems insurmountable, but Jared’s not about to let the woman of HIS dreams get away.




I love contemporary books, and there's something about small town romance that really attracts me to them. This book was one such story. I liked it right from the beginning!

Jared Kane really was the perfect man - he owned a Ducati (sexy!), he had a fit body (waggles eyebrows), and he was a normal guy. I really wouldn't know how to explain the last one, but he was a great guy. I'd totally want a guy like him in my life (please).

Lindsay: "Oh for Pete's sake." She stomped over to Jared, grabbed the towel out of her bag and sat beside him, glaring at everyone around the circle. "Grow a pair. You'd think I was a child."
Jared: "Tough crowd." He bumped her shoulder and said in a low voice, "You like my kisses."

Lindsay: "That's all you got out of this?"

Jared: "Well, yeah. That one kind of stood out."

Lindsay was the kind of woman I would admire. She was strong, independent, but also a relatable woman. She was a puddle of nerves around Jared, which was just so adorable. 

Besides the chemistry between Jared and Lindsay, I really loved the supporting characters. Lindsay's friendship with Tina was something I wish I had as well, and Lindsay's relationship with her family was something I envied. Anyway, they were all amazing. Lindsay's other brother was funny because he liked to eat...A LOT!

"Get your mind out of the gutter, geez. Ever since you became pregnant, you've become a walking, talking hormone."

One thing that I did like about this story was the purity ring. I wouldn't go into detail, but that was quite the twist and I really did enjoy that. 

There was so many aspect of this book that I enjoyed, but if I reveal any more, then you wouldn't want to read the book. So, just take my word for it and trust me that this book was such a joy to read. I honestly just wanted to read it and forget about everything else.

"Oh sugar. The ball has some heat."  ;)



About the Author
Sue resides in beautiful Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her retired air force husband, close to their sons and families. The other members of the Barr clan are furry, and demanding. Very demanding. The kids were easier....

When not busy writing, Sue loves to spend time with family and friends. She sings along with the radio in the car hoping no one sees, has been known to laugh until it hurts, sneaks a few non-healthy things.... ugh.... a LOT of non-healthy things into her diet, and thanks God daily for allowing her to have this wonderful, wonderful life.

For more information about Sue’s books or to sign up for her newsletter and get the skinny on new releases, visit her website: www.suebarrauthor.com - NO Spam policy. Pinkie swear.

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Review: Love and Punishment

I love supporting local authors so when I saw that Ms. Mowbray was looking for someone to review her book, I jumped at the chance! I was so happy I did!

Title: Love and Punishment
Series: Beyond Fairytales, #1
Author: Sorcha Mowbray
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Pages: 137
Buy Links: Amazon | ARe | iBooks | BN | Kobo

Blurb:

Once upon a time… 

Bel was a happy girl with loving parents. Now she lives for revenge. At her father’s urging a plan is set in motion, which quickly spins out of control. Expecting to be used and abused by The Beasts MC, who are known for their orgiastic ways, she is prepared to accept her fate in order to execute her mission. 

The time has come to even the score with the men responsible for her mother’s death. 

Nate and Liam, leaders of The Beasts, have their hands full ensuring the survival of their people as they sell Beast Brew to survive in a city crumbling around them. When a Rose MC member is plucked from their care, the laws of Epsilon demand the perpetrator forfeit his life. But then the leader of The Devil’s Disciples’ daughter offers herself in exchange for his life, and they can’t refuse the beauty’s plea. 

Once she’s pressed between them they know their keeping her for their own, but first they must figure out why she’s there. 




I wanted to bawl, I wanted to feel their love, and I wanted to jump with joy. This book made me feel all kinds of things. Let me just say it before I go deeper into this review: I did not know this was a twist on a fairy tale until probably halfway through the book. I was not informed of the series title and I was a bit oblivious, though the clues were obvious. I was going through a tough time when I read this book, okay? Don't judge me ;)

Anyway, this book... wow. First of all, it's a story of a threesome in a dystopian world. I don't usually read many books with a threesome, much less an orgy, but this book made them appealing somehow. I think that's a great indication that the writer is good at what she does. 

I loved Bel because she was strong and courageous. I do love a woman that knows how to fight. Something about it is so sexy. And then there were the Beasts... I don't even know... They were like walking hormones and they were powerful beyond belief. There were only a few scenes when they fought, but my, oh my, they exuded sex even as they fought during Pit Night. The sheer power they exuded when they stepped into the pit was so sexy. (Can you tell that the author did a great job painting the picture for me?)


Nate: "Liam doesn't fight often, but when he does, he has this ability to turn off. Mind over matter or some crap. But it makes him damn hard to beat."

The chemistry between the three main characters are so explosive; sometimes I was afraid my phone would catch fire! Sheesh! There were times I even read the book in public. For once, I was thankful to be a woman ;)

I would highly recommend this book if you're into really steamy encounters. *fans self* 

P.S. Maybe I'm being oblivious again, but I couldn't figure out what MC meant...


Arianne

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review: Bridge City

I'm so excited to share this review with you all today. I copy edited this book, therefore I read it, and I really enjoyed it! This book and this author honestly deserves more attention. Please check him out :)

Title: Bridge City
Author: Andrew Sutherland
Publisher: Yar Literary
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Pages: 510
Buy Link: Amazon

Blurb:

Al McNair has a nasty case of creeping depression. The woman he loved was killed in the Bahamas and he feels it is his fault. In order to shake the depression that in the end will kill him, Al seeks refuge in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Unbeknownst to Al, someone is killing homeless people under the Burnside Bridge in Portland OR. Full of unexpected twists, realistic action, intriguing characters, and the enigma that is Al, Bridge City is fun, fast-paced, and a perfect book for action lovers everywhere.



This book was like a spinoff from The Girl That Care Forgot trilogy. For those of you who haven't read Andrew Sutherland's books, they're filled with action and strategy. I really appreciated the intelligent characters, but also that they're very humorous.

This book honestly started out a bit slow for me while I read about Al battling his depression. However, as soon as he arrived in Portland, things started getting serious. I really enjoyed his time with Samantha. They had chemistry and it was nice to see Al bounce back from his depression.

Another character I really enjoyed was Detective Sellers. His humor was so entertaining, and combined with Al's humor, it was magic. I couldn't put this book down and I wanted to know what happened next.

As for the villain of the story, the author really did a great job portraying a character that was pure evil and psychotic. There were times when I needed a bit of a buffer before I went to bed, lest I get nightmares from reading about the villain. That was how good it was!

Finally, I loved the character of Bear. Bless him, he was so adorable, literally like a teddy bear. He was such a gentle spirit, but also a protective one. Oh, and he was a great cook as well!

I do also want to mention that, though this book's cover wasn't my favorite -- I've been known to judge a book by its cover -- I was glad that I read it. Oh my gosh, so good!

I would highly recommend this book, or if you want to start from the very beginning, check out The Girl That Care Forgot trilogy. If you love action with a little bit of romance, you would really enjoy reading these books. 


Arianne

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cover Reveal: Ride Hard

I don't usually do cover reveals, but Laura Kaye is one of my favorite authors AND this new cover is so hot, I just had to share! Behold, the cover of the first book of the spinoff Raven Riders series, Ride Hard! *applause*



Being a member of her street team, I had the privilege of seeing this cover days before today. Upon closer inspection, I fell in love with how beautiful it looked. From the black and white effect, to the sexy man on the bike, to the fact that I knew this book would be amazing; I couldn't contain my excitement. Thus, the reason I'm sharing this cover reveal with you.

What do you think? Are you excited for this series?

Title: Ride Hard
Series: Raven Riders, #1
Author: Laura Kaye
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Pages: 320

Blurb:

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders...

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He'll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers--the only family he's got--as well as those who can't defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club's doorstep scared that she's being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man's promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens' leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon's never backed down before...


Arianne

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Review: Laid Out

Title: Laid Out
Series: Worth the Fight, #4
Author: Sidney Halston
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Pages: 277
Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks | Google Play | BN | Kobo

Blurb:

As an Army brat, Violet Channing could never meet her dad’s high expectations. But in the eyes of her best friend, she could do no wrong. He even insisted that he should be her first kiss. Now Cain Sorensen is all grown up, hardened by years in special ops and always looking for a good fight. Tall, with striking blue eyes and impossibly blond hair, he’s a modern-day Viking warrior. Of course, Violet’s all grown up, too, and she’s ready to surrender to his every command.
 
Cain knows he’s bad for Violet. His work is dangerous, and his hobbies are downright deadly. As a private mercenary and a mixed martial arts fighter, he could never let such an innocent soul into his world. And yet his most grueling combat training is no match for Violet’s killer curves, hot touch, and suggestive glances. Now all of Cain’s most explosive fantasies are coming true—but once they cross the line between friends and lovers, there’s no turning back.




I read this book in ONE day.

It was a peaceful Sunday and I found that I had free time. I had started reading this book, and when my photo shoot got cancelled, I thought, "Well, I have nothing else planned, and every end to a chapter makes me want to find out what happened next, so I guess I'll just read all day until I finish this book." That's exactly what I did, and it was WORTH IT (pun intended).

Wow. Cain Sorenson. Oh my gosh, that man was confusing as all hell. He couldn't decide what he wanted! Poor Violet was left trying to figure him out. I did like Violet's character, though. She wore her heart on her sleeve. She was the most forgiving person and she continued to forgive Cain repeatedly no matter how much of a jerk he was.

Seriously, he was a jerk, but I loved him, too! The complexity of his character was what endeared me to him. Nothing about this book was predictable, and I really appreciated that. I also enjoyed the comedic breaks provided by Violet's friend JL. She was hilarious! I can't wait to read her story (hopefully there is one). Violet was hilarious on her own merit. In one chapter, she exclaimed, "Ouch! I think I left a boob over by the door." You'll have to read the book to find out what inspired her to say that.

Here's a little spoiler for you: When Cain wanted to cheat on his diet, he went all out!

Cain: "I'll have a large double chocolate banana split with extra chocolate sauce and extra whip cream. Oh, and throw in some Reeses Pieces and chocolate chips." Then he turned to Violet. "What would you like, Sunshine?"She looked at him, stunned. "Vi?"
Violet: "When you cheat you go all out, don't you?" She laughed. "I'm not hungry. Can I just have some of yours?"
Cain: "Nope. I don't share."

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. I think, so far, it was my favorite of the series. Do note that I've only read two books in the series, haha :)

Go get this book. It's as good as your absolute favorite dessert!

P.S.
Here are some more quotes to convince you to get this book:

"You still like a little coffee with your sugar, I see." << I can totally relate to this because I love a splash of coffee into my hot creamer :)

**********

"Damn, women must have orgasms just talking to you."

**********

JL: "Oh, hello Cain. Nice to see you. Was that thing you just did with your chin your formal hello?"
Cain chuckled. "Yo, J."
JL: "Wow, couldn't even be bothered to say the L."


Arianne

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: Programmed to Please

Title: Programmed to Please
Series: Tau Cetus Chronicles, #1
Author: Jenna Ives
Self-Published
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Pages: 170
Buy Links: Amazon

I was sent a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb:

**2014 HOLT Medallion merit award-winner** 

Very human Tau Cetus police agent Jai Turner is sent undercover as a Beautiful Dolls sex robot in order to bring down the planet's most notorious arms dealer, Marque Callex. The police have never been able to get close to Callex, and Jai’s assignment is to use the Beautiful Dolls' legendary sexual techniques to coax information out of Marque on his illicit dealings – information that will lead to his conviction. 

Reclusive arms dealer Marque Callex only accepted an invitation from Beautiful Dolls because with his deadly line of work – and the dangerous secrets he’s keeping – he can't afford to let a real woman into his life. 

But neither Jai nor Marque are what they seem, and their week together has consequences neither expect.




Very intriguing and imaginative story!

I'll be honest. When I first read this book, I was a bit intimidated by the names of the characters (Jai, Marque, etc) and the police force: Tau Cetus. However, I kept on reading and wow, I was immediately hooked. I stayed up late into the night and continued to read on my break times at work so that I could learn what happened next.

The detail that went into transforming Jai into a sex robot was amazing. The author was very good with writing vivid imagery. 

As for the character chemistry, I really enjoyed Marque and Jai's time together right from the start. I didn't know what to expect from Marque, as did Jai, so we were both pleasantly surprised when they met and "got to know" each other. 

To say the least, their story was pretty romantic. If you're looking for a gripping novella, this would be my recommendation. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!


Arianne

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Review: A Kindled Winter

Title: A Kindled Winter
Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Publisher: Black Lyon Publishing, LLC
Release Date: November 1, 2015
Pages: 73
Buy Link: Amazon | Amazon UK

I received an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

Blurb:

"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." - Dale Evans

A week before Christmas, Jeseca Reed sets off for Blue River, Oregon - her childhood home and a vault of tender memories. However, fate takes an unexpected turn when she's left stranded in the mountains' vast, untamed wilderness. Desperate and alone, she seeks shelter at a cottage and finds herself in the arms of a mysterious stranger.

Dr. David Drake was once a renowned cardiovascular surgeon. But a devastating tragedy has left him scarred both inside and out, unable to use his hands to operate again. For the past five years, his Blue River cottage has been his sole escape - a safe haven where he can shut out the world, bury himself in his grief, and reunite with his son's memory.

Together they are summer and winter. Fire and ice. And yet a poignant connection forms between them. Jeseca thaws David's heart with the first embers of a romance hot enough to melt snow. But before David and Jeseca can fully embrace each other, they must wade through darkness and confront the ghosts of their pasts ...




You know when you receive something you didn't ask for, your first instinct is to say no. But then, you stop and consider it, and eventually you accept it. That was my experience with this book. If you regularly read this blog, you know I don't accept books for review, but there was something about this book that called to me. I mean, it's about Christmas. Who doesn't want to read about love and Christmas?!

Anyway, from the very beginning of this book, there was a weird sensation that I experienced. When Jeseca started looking around the room she woke up in and she felt chills, I felt the exact same chills. It was so weird! That's a good indication that the author did a great job with writing this book.

Also, I love that the author incorporated anxiety in the book, but didn't use the actual word when Dr. Drake had an anxiety attack. Kudos number two for the author.

To be honest, when I started reading this, I was thinking of another book I previously read with a similar premise. I thought, "oh, this is going to be just like that book." A couple chapters in and I was proven completely wrong. This book had depth and character despite the short length.

I read it way into the night and I kept reading when I woke up the next day instead of running some errands. That's how good the book was.

I really admired Jeseca's personality. Despite the tragedy she experienced, she was carefree and open. She melted Dr. Drake's defenses and made her way into his home (literally and figuratively).

Dr. Drake: "Nope. No way. No dancing. Not today. Not ever."
Jeseca: "Oh, come on! Why not? It'll be fun!"
Dr: Drake: "Because I'm absolutely terrible at it."
Jeseca: "Believe me. There's no way you're any worse than I am."


"Do ... do you like it?" she asked, gesturing toward the room.

Do I like it? he thought, bemused. The Christmas music wafted from the hallway and swelled the walls as he struggled to form the proper words. His emotions were in a violent tangle, and he found it impossible to speak. He glanced down and examined Jeseca's elegant writing---and then the words finally emerged.

"Its...perfect."


And that, ladies and gentlemen, was exactly how I felt about the book. Dr. Drake said it "perfectly." :)


Arianne

Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: His Temporary Fix

Title: His Temporary Fix
Series: Love at the Beach
Author: Sofia Grey
Publisher: Entangled: Select Contemporary
Release Date: October 26, 2015
Pages: 111
Buy Links: Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Blurb:

One night is all it takes...
Holly Jacobs loses her heart a little too easily. Never again. But when she meets the sexy soldier on the beach, Holly knows she's in big trouble. Zack Winter is gorgeous and in pain, and when he kisses Holly, all of her resolve melts away...
Zack is on short-term leave to attend a funeral, and he's walking a fine line. The loss is unbearable...and he'll do whatever it takes to distract himself from it. Especially if it means a night of searingly-hot sex with Holly Jacobs. Only his brilliant idea isn't exactly going according to plan.
One night isn't nearly enough. But if it goes much longer it might end in broken hearts…



The twist and turns and the obvious chemistry between the characters were amazing!

I loved reading about Holly's internal struggle when she tried to change her personality, but her old habits kept coming back. Wounded men were her weakness and it made her an easy prey. However, there was something about Zack that tugged at her heart.

I also loved how Zack wasn't the scary type of soldier. He was human and it didn't sound like he had been completely broken by the army just yet... except that he was broken over something else. Holly was the perfect distraction and I definitely loved the public encounters they had ;)

They were very aware of each other's feelings and they were also very open. I enjoyed witnessing the honesty between them.

Besides the romance of this story, I really appreciated that I couldn't predict what would happen next. I was pleasantly surprised that the author was able to inject mystery in such a short novella. I think if you were looking for well-developed characters in a novella, this book would be the one to read.


Arianne