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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Heart and Dagger by Holland Rae πŸ’— Review & Amazon Giveaway πŸ’— (Historical Romance)



Lady Charlotte Talbot hasn’t seen Armand Rajaram de Bourbon, her oldest childhood friend and once betrothed, since his family returned to India when she was fifteen. Since then, she has left a groom at the altar, changed her name to Catalina Sol, opened a house for unwed mothers and orphans, and captained a ship, the LibertΓ©, crewed by the best fighters in the Spanish Main. She’s no longer the lady he left behind, not that she’d admit to wishing he’d return.

When Armand’s brother is kidnapped, he breaks his rule of never engaging with pirates. But desperation drives him to the LibertΓ© and a life he thought he’d left far behind. He’d do anything to save Henri, but Armand never expected to find Charlotte here, and now that’s he’s found her, he doesn’t have a clue what to do about it.

Together, they must face kidnapping, pirate captains, blackmail, and themselves. The LibertΓ© may sail thousands of miles from the shores of England, but that might not be far enough to escape the past.


This book is quite the adventure!

I was intrigued with the idea of a female pirate captain. I was honestly concerned that Catalina was going to be written extremely way too "I am woman, hear me roar," as so many other heroines are anymore.

But Catalina was AWESOME. She was written almost like a female version of Robin Hood, complete with a very selfless nature and badass fighting skills. For all that she was amazing, she had her vulnerable parts, namely Armand.

Armand was the PERFECT match for Catalina. He understood and accepted that she was the captain and this was HER show. But, he also made sure he was there to protect her in case she needed it. Which she did. But no spoilers here :)

This book was very well-written and the descriptions were fantastic. I see Holland has written other pirate adventures, and I an ECSTATIC to read them all!

(I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)



“Like you, Armand?” she asked him. Her voice had reached an even tone, with no emotion evident, and that was far more terrifying than her angered yelling. Like him. He could have been her husband these years now, had he ever written back, had he not turned himself away from everything London and Paris were to him. He had been a coward and fool.
And yet, the knowledge did not serve to calm his temper in the slightest. Instead, he nearly ground his teeth to dust, as she continued her even speech.
“I have never needed a man to care for me,” she said, her gaze so full of disdain, Armand felt himself growing smaller in the wake of it. “I have never needed anyone to care for me.” This time, when she spoke, there was no denying the sadness that filtered through her words, or the expression in her eyes, and Armand felt his own grief in it, felt his own sadness as it mirrored hers.
“Why are you trying to change me?” she asked him. He knew he needed to back down, knew that if he spoke right at this moment, as this woman stood before him in her britches, then he would regret it forever. He knew all these things, and yet the anger seemed to consume him, anger, fear, sadness.
“It’s about time someone tried.”
He watched her finish dressing and leave without another word, but there was no denying the pain he saw in those beautiful eyes, and he felt all the hurt he had caused her as acutely as if someone had dug a knife into his very own body. Of course he didn’t want to change her, not the glorious laughter that exposed her long stretch of beautiful neck, not the way she treated the world’s misfits, offering them love and joy, so much more than just clothing and food. There was not a single thing in the world he would change about Catalina Sol.
He stopped short, eyes still wide upon the doorway through which she had only just left. If he didn’t want to change her, then why had he said so? Why had he said the one thing he knew would hurt her more than all the rest?
Because she had done the same.
She hadn’t even said no, hadn’t even rejected him in a way that stood to break him, but as Armand stood in Catalina’s chamber all alone, he realized he hadn’t proposed out of honor. He hadn’t suddenly developed the sense of responsibility that had forsaken him all those years ago.
He had proposed because he wanted to marry her. The thought was like a knife turning in his belly, and it sent a shard of new pain through his temple.
He had wanted to marry her.
As she had lain in the morning sunshine, her hair spread around her, that delicious glow upon her skin, Armand had believed it his duty to marry Catalina, but it hadn’t been his duty. It hadn’t been his responsibility. It had been his desire.
And then she had laughed, had laughed and thrown his betrayal of their once future in his face, and Armand hadn’t understood why he had been so angry. But he understood now, he knew exactly what had driven him to say the words he knew would bring her to her knees. Because she had brought him to his knees and Armand Rajaram de Bourbon, earl, comte, somewhere in line for an Indian princehood, didn’t like the sensation one bit.

Save 40% when you purchase the eBook at
The Wild Rose Press!
Limited time offer!

    

Friday, November 24, 2017

If I Want You by Rachel Brimble πŸ’— Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway πŸ’— (Romantic Suspense)



When local journalist, Tori Peterson, fails to prevent a child abduction outside her niece’s school, her horror and guilt sparks a vow to do whatever it takes to get little Abby Brady home to her parents.

While Tori battles the vile memories of her own kidnapping as a child, she accepts the help of widowed father, Mark Bolton. As he and Tori join forces with the local police, their attraction and intimacy grows…along with their fears for Abby.

Links are uncovered between Abby’s disappearance and Tori’s kidnapping, and Tori is forced to accept the monster who held her captive is back. But this time, Tori is all grown up, and there is no way she will let him hurt another little girl.


Setting – Fictional or real

I’d love to utilize my visit here to talk about the setting for my latest novel, IF I WANT YOU. I think setting is one of the most important aspects of writing fiction and something many authors use, not only as a backdrop for the plot, but almost as another character they can use to add depth, emotion and color to the overall story.
Even though IF I WANT YOU is my fifteenth contemporary romance, I am yet to use a real place as the setting for one of my books in this sub-genre. I’m not entirely sure why, as I’ve used Bath and its surrounding villages for my historical work and gladly named them as the real thing.
I think as contemporary work is set in the here and now, I worry that details in my work could be inaccurate and readers will be compelled to write to me telling me my mistakes and I’ll forever know something I wrote is out there and wrong, lol!
Having said that, even though I use fictional names for my contemporary towns, all of them have been inspired by real places I’ve visited, loved or lived in my life.
For IF I WANT YOU, I used a place very close to where I grew up on the outskirts of Bristol. I played in this borough from the age of seven to eleven and it was such a fabulous place that I used to long to move there with my family. The childhood memories I have of playing in the woods, longing to live in some of the huge houses along its many affluent streets and even getting up to mischief that I will never admit publicly…Barlington (as I’ve named it in the book) served as the perfect backdrop for IF I WANT YOU.
As a small town, everything from the schools, to the cemetery, to the parks and police station are all in a close distance of one another, allowing me the freedom to keep pace moving even in the characters had to drive or walk anywhere. But it was more than that which led me to setting this darker romantic suspense here.
It came from having to draw on the emotions of not just adult characters, but a child’s too. I needed to transport myself back to my childhood – think and act on the page with the thought processes of a young girl rather than an adult woman. How else could I portray how and why this particular child abduction could, or could not, have happened?
The setting and my memories of it were a powerful source of emotion, color and depth that I drew on again and again. As I was writing the book, I often visited ‘Barlington’ as it is today and looked at everything through adult eyes, before remembering it through my childhood eyes. It really helped the writing to move along at a faster pace than some of my other books.
I have already been asked if another book/s will be following IF I WANT YOU and I think that’s because my Templeton Cove series has proved to be so popular, which is fantastic. Although I’ve no plans for a sequel to IF I WANT YOU, never say never! I LOVE writing small-town series and if an idea appears that would be perfect against Barlington’s backdrop then, of course, I’ll write it. That’s the best thing about writing, no author can predict what they might write in the future, who their characters will be or where the story will be set. Those things come along when they’re ready…no matter how much we might sometimes beg them to appear NOW!


Her nails dug into his shoulder and he pretended she held onto him because she needed him, that he provided something, no matter how small, that she couldn’t find within herself.

She pulled back and their gazes locked. He recognized the yearning—the need for blessed escape—in her eyes, because time and again, the same need had ripped through his body since Abby’s abduction.

He gently eased Tori back onto the sofa and brought his face to hers, closing his eyes as he kissed her. She eased her tongue into his mouth and he savored her taste, letting it drift through his body and into his heart, regardless of the repercussions once they hurtled back to the terrifying reality currently surrounding their every thought and action.

For now, they were alone, together, and closed off from the rest of the world. He would ensure she enjoyed this time, remembered it, and came to believe she deserved a man’s unending and reassuring adoration. He kissed her jaw and neck as he flipped open her shirt buttons. She slid her hand over his waist and pulled his t-shirt from his jeans, gliding her hands across his back and raising the hairs on his body.

Her breast was full and heavy in his hand and he thumbed her nipple until it peaked. She trembled and a surge of possibility of what he could be with this amazing woman by his side urged his need for Tori’s happiness higher. He trailed his fingers over her ribcage, to the slender dip of her waist as she lifted his shirt.

   

Special Delivery by Judi Lynn πŸ’— Book Tour & eBook Giveaway πŸ’— (Contemporary Romance)



In Mill Pond, Indiana, neighbors always look out for each other. And even though tourists are drawn to the small town’s charms, it’s the locals who fill it with warmth . . .
Traveling nurse Karli Redding doesn’t have many fond memories of her aging grandfather, Axel—or of Mill Pond. But with Axel’s health in decline and Karli on a month’s hiatus between jobs, she volunteers to set him up with the help he needs. The house and her grandfather could both use some TLC. Good thing Keagan Monroe, the very attractive mailman next door, is always ready to lend a hand…
Not a lot slips by a mailman, and Keagan appreciates Karli’s dogged attempts to spruce up the neglected property. Painting, fixing the sagging porch, delivering a constant stream of casseroles from caring neighbors—he’ll help however he can, all while keeping his feelings under wraps. A short-term fling just doesn’t fit into his schedule. But with each passing day, Karli’s bond with the town grows a little deeper. Has fate sent her exactly where she needs to be? Karli’s willing to find out, and the first step is figuring out the perfect route to Keagan’s heart…


In my sixth romance, SPECIAL DELIVERY, Karli Redding, a travelling nurse, volunteers to go to Mill Pond to arrange health care for her grandfather. My daughter’s a travelling nurse, so it was fun making Karli one, too. My daughter’s dealt with many an uncooperative patient, and I could hear her bantering with Axel.

Mill Pond’s mailman, Keagan Monroe—who’s easy on the eyes--let Karli’s mother know that Axel shouldn’t live alone anymore. Keagan’s been dropping off cottage cheese, Ensure, and applesauce and keeping an eye on him, but he’s found the stove on three times when he stops by. The problem is that Axel is of sound mind and as spiteful as ever, so refuses to cooperate with any fixes Karli finds for him. He keeps telling her that one or more of his twelve children will come to care for him, hoping he’ll croak soon and leave them all of his money.
Karli has a month off between nursing jobs, so she decides to stay with him until someone shows up. Working in a hospital is not like living with a patient. Axel can be a real pain. I loved both of my grandmothers, but they didn’t grow warm and fuzzy when they got old. They got more demanding. Karli cooks for Axel and tries to get him to move more to build up strength. That’s when she learns that Axel…and the hunky mailman she begins to lust over…can both be had with food. There’s a lot of food in this book. A reviewer warned not to read this when you’re hungry. Probably because I love to cook for friends and family.


I also have a love of old houses, and Axel’s house has great bones, but no one’s taken care of it for decades. Karli can’t stand seeing such a beautiful house in such bad shape. If she has to look at it every day, she might as well clean it. And once she does that, she decides to paint some of the rooms. Keagan loves the house, too, and pitches in. The old house and the old man start to shape up. And Karli realizes, the more she works on the house, the more Keagan’s underfoot. A win/win?



She was eating at the wooden table in the kitchen with the oven on, soaking in the heat, when a mouse ran over her foot.
“Holy crap!” She wouldn’t let herself jump on a chair. She was a grown woman, and she wouldn’t scream over a mouse. But she wanted to.
“You okay?” Words she never thought she’d hear Axel utter.
“A mouse just ran over my foot.”
He grunted. “Yeah, they come in about this time of year when it gets cold outside.”
She walked to the door to talk to him. “How do you catch them?”
“There are some traps in the broom closet.”
She wrinkled her nose. “I’m not going around the house to collect little dead bodies.”
“Suit yourself.”
She frowned at him. “There must be something else.”
“Mice leave when there’s a cat in a house, but when you leave, you take the damned thing with you.”
“I don’t want a cat.”
“Then kill the mice or start naming them.”
She glowered toward Kurt. “Mice are a man’s job. He should deal with them.”
Kurt finished a beer and swiped at his mouth with the back of his hand. “They don’t bother me.”
“They’re disgusting. They spread disease and multiply faster than rabbits.”
He shrugged. “They don’t eat that much. Put some cheese out for them.”
She turned and stalked back to the kitchen. The idiots! She wasn’t about to start every day by sweeping away mouse turds.

   


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wrongful Desires by Katerina Winters πŸ’— Flash FREE eBook πŸ’—(Contemporary Romance)



Young and innocent Raven Gables was strictly off limits, a fact Creed Lyons made sure to remind every surrounding male—including himself. Keeping her at arm's length Creed was content to watch the young beauty from afar, but cruel fate always found a way to laugh in his face.

From the moment Creed arrived to rescue her, Raven knew the taciturn soldier covered in tattoos would change her life forever. Over the years he had become more than just a proxy “uncle” in her eyes, he was the dark-eyed man that haunted her dreams. The question was, would Creed ever see more than just a tragically orphaned schoolgirl?

Like family, it was his job now to care and look after her, but God help him he wasn't prepared for this type of hell. There was only so much a man could take staring back at wide innocent eyes that begged the predator inside to devour her.

***
Stand alone novel.
Graphic details

Keywords:
Forbidden love, Age gap, guardian ward relationship, absent parents, cohabitation, older man younger woman, possessive

Until November 25!