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Archive for July, 2012

LOVE CAN HAPPEN IN A HEARTBEAT

Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s lovable mutt to caring for his rambunctious son. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family-until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

 

Dear Reader,

 

Ever feel like you’re drowning?  In FOREVER AND A DAY, my hero Dr. Josh Scott is most definitely drowning.  He’s overloaded, overworked, and on the edge of burnout.  He’s got his practice, his young son, his wheelchair bound sister, and a crazy puppy.  Not to mention the weight of the world on his shoulders from taking care of everyone in his life.  He’s in so deep, saving everyone around him all the time, that he doesn’t even realize that he’s the one in need of saving.  It would never occur to him.

 

Enter Grace Brooks.  She’s a smart smartass, and thanks to some bad luck, pretty much starting her life over from scratch.  Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor working as Josh’s dog walker.  And then his nanny.  And then … before he even realizes it, his everything.  In truth, she’s saved him, in more ways than one.

 

Oh how I loved watching the sure, steady rock that is Josh crumble, only to be slowly but surely helped back together again by the sexy yet sweet Grace.

 

And don’t forget to pick up the other “Chocaholic” books, LUCKY IN LOVE and AT LAST, both available wherever books and ebooks are sold.

 

Happy Reading!

Jill Shalvis

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

For more information about Jill Shalvis, visit jillshalvis.com. And for a chance to win Forever and a Day, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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Window Rock, Arizona, is the last known location of Honor Roberts, who vanished when she was just thirteen. It was her only sanctuary from the Breed research that would surely have ended in her death—one such insidious experiment should, indeed, have killed her. That she lived is both a miracle—and a great mystery.

Stygian’s mission is to find Honor Roberts, no matter the cost. Now, with the help of Liza Johnson, assistant to the chief of the Navajo Nation, he is closer than ever to his goal. But will the discovery of Honor Roberts mean the destruction of the mating heat that has developed between Stygian and Liza?

I can’t figure out how to do this review without giving spoilers for Lawe’s Justice. If you haven’t read that one and don’t want spoilers, stop reading now.

Potential spoilers ahead!

In Lawe’s Justice, the Bureau of Breed Affairs and their enemies had descended on the Navajo Nation in search of four people that escaped the labs years ago. Honor, Fawn, Judd and Gideon hold the key to saving the life of Jonas Wyatt’s child and also destroying the Council.

After Lawe and Diane failed to find them, it became Stygian’s job in this book to find Honor and Jonas believes that Liza has the information. From there, it is a typical Breed book. Breed meets girl, knows she is his mate, pursues her, catches her, she doesn’t want to be “owned”, and they have lots of sex, exchanging the magical Breed jizz that bonds them together. I can’t tell you much about the plot because it and the big secret is given away within the first chapter. All suspense is lost at that point. The developing relationship between Stygian and Liza was mildly interesting and held my attention for parts of the book. Stygian wasn’t the typical alpha hero and was able to give Liza the freedom she needed. In the end, I believed in their romance.

The rest of the book I was either meh about or irritated with. I felt the Navajo plot was overcomplicated and dragged the story down. I started to hate Jonas and Rachel a little more. I know I’m supposed to feel sympathy for the parents fighting to save their child but it’s just not working for me. There is also a tiny side story involving Dog that left me confused. I have no idea what it meant, what it was supposed to add to the story, or how it fit the personality of the Breed we have known for many books now.

It wouldn’t be a Lora Leigh book without at least one repetitive word or phrase. For Stygian’s Honor, it was “spurt.” Poor Stygian spurted so much that I became worried about him dehydrating. After 20 spurts in 10 pages, I lost count. Wear your wet weather gear for this one. Spurt, spurt, spurt!

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Format: Print and Digital

Preorder:
Amazon
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Despite their mutual distrust, a werewolf couple — a witch and an ex-cop — must work together to defeat her abusive father, a werewolf wizard who is determined to destroy the Magekind

But though Miranda Drake and William Justice team up to help Arthur and his knights, neither trusts the other. Justice strikes Miranda as the sort of dominant Alpha male who has abused her all her life. Justice has worked with other domestic violence victims, and knows that the women sometimes turn on the cops who try to help them. Yet for Justice, protecting Miranda is his opportunity to redeem himself for his inability to prevent Warlock’s manipulation of his people into war.

In the final book of the Mageverse series, King Arthur, his knights, and the Majae do not have the strength to defeat their most powerful enemy, Warlock, on their own. The fate of both Earth and Mageverse rests on the shoulders of Warlock’s daughter, Miranda, and her werewolf bodyguard, Justice.

After years of abuse at the hands of Alpha wolves, Miranda doesn’t trust any of them and has no plans to get involved with Justice, regardless of the sparks they create. When Justice almost loses his life saving hers, Miranda must acknowledge she loves him and battle her fears, both to secure a future for them and to defeat her father.

Since much of Miranda and Justice’s relationship develops off page during the months between Master of Shadows and Master of Darkness, the “I love you”s felt abrupt and not very believable until mid-book when Miranda is forced to talk Justice off a magical ledge and tells him why she loves him. After that, I was fully invested in them, their love, and the ultimate battle of good versus evil they were engaging in. And while the deeper feelings weren’t believable right away, that didn’t stop the sexual chemistry between them from heating up the pages.

I did have a few issues with this book. The hero is William Justice. He is called Justice in the previous book, he is called Justice in this book, Miranda calls him Justice during sex but during a few random conversations, Miranda refers to him as Bill. For such a small thing, it pulled me out the story every time it happened as I thought “who’s Bill?”

There are also a lot of new characters introduced in this book and most didn’t seem to add to the story at all. I was bored with the pages spent on the background and personality of Warlock’s minions and skimmed much of it. There were also three siblings introduced early in the book that confused me. They had no relevance except to introduce Melinda and Justice to another character. It wasn’t until the epilogue that I realized they were the main characters in Knight’s upcoming spin-off trilogy. They just weren’t interesting enough to be anything but a mild annoyance for the time they took away from the drama and action.

While Master of Darkness wasn’t my favorite of this series, it was a very satisfying conclusion. It had all the sexiness, humor, geekiness and intense battle scenes I have come to treasure in the Mageverse. And those are the things I will miss. I’ve been reading this series for eight years and I’m not ready to say goodbye but if it has to end, this was the way to go.

 

Favorite quote:

“No. No he didn’t break you, my dear.” Inhuman eyes probed hers delicately. “The most he managed was a bend here and there. Apparently he has forgotten that the beat of the hammer in the flame’s heart only strengthens a good blade.”

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 2nd, 2012
Format: Print and digital

Preorder:
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Alisha Rai has revealed the cover for her upcoming post apocalyptic romance, Night Whispers. I love this how different it is. This looks like a heroine that could kick some serious ass! I’m not a big reader of futuristic rom but I want this book!

Night Whispers, Book 1 of the Shadowlands Series

When every night is a battle for survival, love is an endangered species

ShadowLands, Book 1

Analyst James Bennett has spent the years since humankind fell victim to the Illness living underground. Part of an elite group of survivors determined to save their race, his only interaction with the blood-drinking Shadows roaming the Earth is through surveillance technology carried by his team of search-and-rescue agents. Scarred by vicious events, he has no desire to leave the safety of his bunker for the dangerous world outside—until he recruits a tough, haunted young woman clear across the country.

Former gang member Jules Guerrero learned two things early on: the value of loyalty and never backing down from a fight. Both of those teachings come in handy now that her job description includes protecting humans and kicking Shadow ass. But it’s hard to keep her mind strictly on her mission when all she can think about is the man whose voice keeps her sane through the depths of each dark night.

When Jules is captured and threatened by a rogue organization even more bloodthirsty than the Shadows, James must draw on all of his courage to fuel a furious cross-country chase through the lawless land…before the Jules he loves is destroyed forever.

Warning: Contains a hero who would fight monsters for his love, a heroine out to save the world, a treacherous wasteland, poetry as foreplay and flesh-eating enemies.

www.alisharai.com

November 2012

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Once the seeds of desire are sown…
Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy’s door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors…

Their growing passion knows no bounds…
Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul.

Once again, I’ve found a book I can’t review without sounding like a gushing fan-girl so…

Dear Ms. Callihan,

Earlier this year, a trusted book friend told me I had to read Firelight, the first book in your Darkest London series. I didn’t want to. Historical is not my genre of choice, I prefer contemporary. Add in paranormal? Oh, no. That is not for me. I eventually caved to peer pressure and one-clicked on Amazon. I would give it a shot but I wouldn’t enjoy it. I finished it at 3am and was heartbroken that you didn’t have a backlist for me to glom that very instant. I immediately started following you on twitter and, oh happy day, you announced that your publisher was giving away early copies of Moonglow on Goodreads. The joyful screams echoed across Romanceland when I won one.

I really liked Firelight but Moonglow blew me away. Daisy was such an amazing heroine. A tough outer shell hid her vulnerable side and she wasn’t afraid to embrace her sexuality. She was fierce! And Ian *happy sigh* I want an Ian of my own. A unique combination of dark, tortured, sexy and fun, he just flat-out did it for me.

Honestly, there wasn’t anything about this book that didn’t do it for me. It was gritty, sexy, angst-filled and had a brave ending I never saw coming. I didn’t just love Moonglow, I want to have book babies with it. This may be my favorite book of 2012. Because of this, I refuse to read the excerpt at the end for Winterblaze. I’m afraid I’ll shrivel up into a withered shell of myself before it is released. I can’t wait to see where else this series goes!

 

Sincerely,

The Unexpected Fangirl

 

5 stars, recommend read, whatever you want to call it, this isn’t a series to be missed.

 

Genre: Paranormal Historical Romance
Release Date: July 31st, 2012
Format: Print and digital

Preorder:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

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The conversation has arose many times in Romanceland about how social media is blurring the lines between authors, reviewers, and readers. A lot of valid points have been raised. Can a review be honest if you are friends with the author? And what is considered a friend? Is it exchanging friendly tweets with the author? Where is the line? It’s a messy subject and I hope this post can clarify where Mad and I stand and give others a chance to weigh in on it. Because maybe we are wrong. It’s been known to happen.

Between the two of us, we have blurred the lines until they are tiny. We are both beta readers, moderators for author yahoo groups, and have friends who make their livings by writing books. Mad is also the assistant of many authors. Then we have this blog where we post about hundreds of books every year. Blurred lines? Without a doubt. It’s a balancing act to stay honest about our love of a book and maintaining the trust the blog visitors have given us.

For example, I stumbled across the Southern Arcana books by Moira Rogers through twitter. I loved the first book and reviewed it. I exchanged tweets with the authors on twitter, more books came out, I did more reviews. Then I was asked to beta read a couple of their books and the reviews stopped. Shortly after, Mad became their assistant. Moira Rogers is still welcome to guest blog at Novel Thoughts (all authors are welcome for promo posts) but we both feel it would be a conflict of interest for us to review those books. That’s where our line is. I have given my opinion about the book prior to publication and Mad is being paid to promote them. There is no way for either of us to be unbiased.

I’ve seen reviews by beta readers/assistants to a specific author and I don’t trust that review. I’ve also seen the “I’m a reader first!” argument and it just doesn’t fly for me. It may not be fair but I’m skeptical when I see that.

Then there is the line between friends and friendly. For me, a friend is someone who I talk with outside of social media. We talk about everything. They know personal things about me that won’t be put out for all the internet to see and I know the same about them. When it comes to an author friend, I won’t review their books. Period. If I loved it, will readers really believe me? And if I hated it, I’m not going to write a review that could potentially cost my friend one single sale. I love my friends and want them to succeed in the career they love. It’s a lose/lose situation and one I don’t feel is ethical. Is that fair of me, as a blogger and reviewer, to not tell others about a book I disliked? To me it is, but others may feel differently.

Now we are at friendly and this is where is gets messy for everyone. I’m “friendly” with a ton of authors. I follow them on twitter, maybe they follow me, I ask questions about their books, they laugh at me when I accidentally kidnap a strange cat thinking it’s mine, just random stuff. I’ve written both positive and negative reviews of those authors’ books. Earlier this year, I was reading a truly horrible book and tweeting about it. Misery loves company and I was miserable. Shannon Stacey offered me an ARC of her upcoming book if I would just stop my current read. She sent it to me with no requirements. She wasn’t looking for a beta read or review. She sent it to me because she’s nice (and possibly because she never wanted to see another tweet about a heroine with flatulence.) I read it, I loved it and wanted to tell everyone about it. When it was close to release day, I posted my review. I didn’t feel conflicted about posting that review at all.

That’s not the only time Mad or I have gotten a book just because. And usually, we’ll post reviews for those books. But what happens if someone sends either of us a book just because and we don’t like it? It hasn’t happened yet but what if I get the book I hate? Not just “certain elements didn’t work for me” but that rare book that sends me into a rage? Will I post a negative, snark filled review about a book that was sent to me by someone who was just being nice? I’m leaning towards no. And does that make it unfair for to give the honest good reviews?

 

We haven’t touched on authors also reviewing. Are they believable? Is it right? Do authors’ opinions hold more sway than average readers? Once upon a time, that answer was yes for me. If an author I enjoyed recommended a book, I was all over it. With experience came wisdom and I’ve learned to pay attention to what other books that author likes. Just because I like what she writes doesn’t mean I like what she reads. But newer readers may not have that experience to fall back on. So is it ethical for an author to review? My opinion is I don’t care one way or the other but I’m curious about others’ thoughts.

So what about you? Where are your lines as a reader, reviewer, or author? Do you automatically dismiss a review if you’ve watched the reviewer chat with the author online? Would you feel betrayed if you bought a book based on a review and later found out the reviewer had a business relationship with the author? Or is it really buyer beware?

And more importantly to us personally, is it possible to wear the hats of beta reader, author assistant, friend, blogger, and still keep the reviewer’s hat?

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Shew! *fans self*

 

He’ll do anything for you. But you’d better say please.

When tomboy sports reporter Charli Beaumonde loses a dream TV job because she’s not girly enough for primetime, she’s determined to land a big scoop and prove her boss made a mistake. But when she gets too close to a football scandal and finds her life threatened, Charli accepts an offer from family friend Grant Waters to hide out at his place—even if Grant predicts nothing but trouble from his buddy’s hard-headed, uncompromising, irrepressible, younger sister. There’s one more problem…

Grant’s “place” is The Ranch, a BDSM resort in Texas, and he’s used to being in charge —even if that means trying to keep Charli in line. But much to Grant’s surprise, she’s intrigued—even envious—of his trainees. They’re the epitome of what she’s never been: sexy, beguiling, and totally irresistible to a man. Still, Grant doesn’t believe for a minute that the sharp-tongued Charli has it in her to be anyone’s submissive. But Charli’s already on her knees vying for the chance to prove that even the Master can be wrong sometimes.

 

www.roniloren.com

December 31, 2012

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