Tag Archives: book review

I’m A Little Bit In Love With “A Little Bit Scandalous”. . .

A Little Bit Scandalous Banner 450 x 169

. . . and you will be, too – whether you like historical romance or not. It has nothing to do with the awesome contest accompanying Robyn DeHart’s virtual book tour.  (I’ll get to that in a minute.) Nor does it hinge upon Ms. DeHart’s reputation for penning some of the best period romances in years past. You’ll love this book because you’ll fall in love with the hero and heroine.

Everyone knows an author can stumble from time to time, releasing a novel which doesn’t quite measure up to previous efforts. As a reader who nurses a cynical edge, I expect this – and approach each new title with a tongue in cheek attitude that clearly asks, “Can you make me read to the last page? Well . . . can ya, punk?” (Sorry, I’ll always slip in a Dirty Harry quote when I can.)

I admit, I’m not the easiest reader to please. I get distracted. A lot. Who doesn’t these days? My mind has been known to wander through twenty topics while I turned as many pages, only to later return and re-read the excerpt. It takes witty dialogue, dazzling descriptions, and a fast pace to hook me.  Most historicals move languidly and the language is too stilted. For my tastes. Trust me, I have friends who love historical romance to the point that their lives revolve around the next release date from their favorite authors. I applaud them. I applaud their loyalty to the genre and the author.  Historical is just not my cup of tea. So why, you might ask, did I choose to read “A Little Bit Scandalous”?

Years ago, I found myself repeatedly goaded by a friend to read historical romance. This friend was one of those zealots I mentioned earlier –  a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon’s The Outlander series and many more period titles. No matter how often I defended my penchant for contemporary suspense thrillers and romantic suspense, she simply would not let up.  “You’ll LOVE historicals. You don’t know what you’re missing,” she persisted.  Finally, to shut her up, I agreed to read one of “those” books. I chose a period romance with a blurb that caught my eye, certain I’d be calling the next day with a smug, “I told you so. Historicals are dribble.”

The book I selected was from a series called The Legend Hunters – “Treasure Me” by Robyn DeHart. It was one of the most delightful, satisfying novels I’d read in some time and sprinkled with a refreshing dash of devilish humor. I was captivated by this intriguing tale in the first few pages and remained spell bound to the end. In fact, every title I’ve read by Ms. DeHart since that first book has left me with the same contented “sigh” at the end. I don’t know how she does it time after time . . . but I’m awfully glad she does!

So when Bewitching Book Tours posted the news of Ms. DeHart’s book tour featuring  “A Little Bit Scandalous”, which host do you think was first in line, hand waving, head bobbing as feet jumped off the ground, yelling, “Me! Me! Pick me!”?

Yep.

Read on for my review, book description and an excerpt from “A Little Bit Scandalous”. And as a side note . . . I still have not read The Outlander series – much to my friend’s dismay.

But first: ENTER THE CONTEST for your chance to win a $25 Gift Card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, winner’s choice. Just click the link below.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112f345/

REVIEW:

ALBS-1600It’s all fun and games until someone loses their heart. And that’s exactly what happens in “A Little Bit Scandalous” when Monroe (Roe) Grisham, Duke of Chanceworth, tangles with his ward, Caroline Jellico.

After the unfortunate death of his best friend, Roe accepts the man’s sister as his ward. On Caroline’s 18th birthday, he decides it’s time to find her a suitable husband. She shocks him by declaring her love, which he promptly rejects.  Caroline grudgingly goes to London with Roe’s mother and is introduced to Society. However, she is heartbroken and soon returns to the country, vowing never to marry.

Fast forward seven years. Caroline has matured into a resourceful and beautiful young woman determined to renovate the family estate she so loves. Loathe to ask Roe for money to repair the property, she decides to utilize her uncanny mathematical skills and ability to count cards by dressing up as a boy and hitting the gaming tables. After a series of impressive wins, Caroline amasses the needed funds without anyone uncovering her identity.

When Roe is pitted in a card game against Grey, the “boy” with a reputation for always winning, he soon realizes his competition is not a boy at all. And a new game begins . . .

As usual, Ms. DeHart delighted me with robust, lively dialogue and a great sense of humor. This author displays an ability to build chemistry between her characters that is so tangible, I sometimes feel like I’m watching a movie. To incite a reader’s emotions in such a way is truly a gift. “A Little Bit Scandalous” is a fast moving, character driven tale layered with an intriguing plot. Even though it’s a period piece, set in the Regency/Victorian era, the story will resonate with any romance reader who enjoys the arc of a good love story.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Put “A Little Bit Scandalous” on your TBR list! You won’t be disappointed.

A Little Bit Scandalous

Forbidden Love Series, Book 3

Robyn DeHart

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC

Date of Publication: 8-12-13

ISBN:  978-1-62266-229-6

ASIN: B00DXJ77EW

Number of pages:  212

Amazon

Book Description:

A gambler in need of redemption

Monroe Grisham, Duke of Chanceworth, is determined to keep his beautiful young ward, Caroline Jellico, out of his life for her own good. Caroline is all grown up now, making it impossible for him to focus on anything but her presence. Hoping to put her out of sight, he leaves it up to his mother to find her a proper husband before he ruins Caroline himself.

A woman in search of a gamble

Mathematics prodigy, Caroline Jellico, is tired of waiting for the elusive Roe to notice her.

A complicated game of seduction

When Roe and Caroline meet across the table, all bets are off. But this game takes more than skill, and the winner may take all but still lose everything.

Excerpt:

Caroline stood in the dark. She was not particularly skilled when it came to determining if a man was attracted to her. She hadn’t stayed in London for her Season long enough after Roe had rejected her proposal, but Roe had behaved as if she tempted him, as if their kiss had affected him just as it had her.

Perhaps he behaved that way with any woman who got close enough to him. Somehow she doubted that, though. She’d seen Lady Fairfax, the kind of woman Roe had affairs with. A sophisticated woman with curves aplenty, lovely golden hair, and big blue eyes. Not at all like Caroline’s unruly mouse-brown hair and her own lackluster brown eyes. And she’d seen the kind of woman Roe intended to marry, someone who looked a bit like her, only a much more attractive version.

Caroline had not come downstairs to spy on Roe. She’d wandered down to find a book to read and had seen a particularly interesting looking text in Roe’s study on mathematics. She clutched her dressing gown closer around her as the draft from the night air wafted around her. She’d thought Roe had left hours ago. Evidently not.

She waited a few breaths before making her way to Roe’s study. She intended to walk in and go immediately for the book, say goodnight, and be on her way. Instead, she locked her gaze on him and boldly asked, “Are you and Lady Fairfax having an affair?”

Roe looked up from his desk, then leaned back in his chair, folding his hands over his abdomen. The pose was nothing short of masculine perfection.

She silently cursed her body and its betraying desire.

“We were. Once. But no longer,” he said, his words even, unwavering.

She tried to think of something to say, but merely stood there as the relief washed over her. “She’s quite beautiful.”

Roe nodded. “She is.”

The book she’d come to retrieve was on the bookshelf behind Roe. She could see the reddish leather mocking her. Still, she made no move to claim it. Mathematical treatise could not hold her attention when Roe was near. Her mind barely functioned well enough to hold a conversation, let alone read about the complexities of algebra. “What did she want?” It wasn’t her concern, she knew that. She was nothing to Roe, nothing but a financial burden and he owed her no explanation about anything. Still she was curious.

“Me,” he said with a grin.

I want you, too. But still, his obvious humor in the matter sent another flood of relief through her. If he was still interested in Lady Fairfax, he would not be joking about the matter with her. “I see. Your arrogance knows no bounds, does it?”

He tilted his head as if considering her question. “I don’t believe it does.”

“I came down to borrow a book.” Caroline stood in the same spot, her eyes unable to leave Roe’s face.

“Do you want to play a few hands?” he asked.

“I do,” she said without thinking. They hadn’t played since the night he discovered her disguise, and her hands had been itching to touch the cards, to see the numbers tally in her mind. It would be a good diversion from what her mind was currently considering—all the ways Roe could seduce her. He motioned for her to come forward.

“Pull up that chair.” He indicated the wooden chair that currently sat near the window adjacent to his desk.

She dragged it across the Persian rug and brought it to the edge of his mahogany desk. She would have a difficult time saying no to a game in any circumstances, but this one, here tonight with Roe, it would have been impossible. She had nothing to compete with Lady Fairfax except her skill with cards, something Caroline knew Roe would appreciate and value. So she’d do her best, challenge him, beat him, and then be able to go to bed tonight knowing while she might not be prettiest woman in his life, she was the smartest.

He retrieved a deck of cards from his top drawer and nimbly shuffled them, flipping and fanning them within his hands. He had beautiful hands, large, broad, masculine hands with a light dusting of hair on each knuckle, and neat, manicured nails. Hands that had touched her throat and her face when he’d kissed her.

She felt her cheeks warm and knew they likely burned red. She looked down, inspected her own hands, which she’d never felt were particularly feminine because her fingers were long and narrow. Her own nails were blunt and jagged from her bed habit of picking at them when she was nervous. She remembered, when she’d been very young, her mother had told her that her hands were that of a pianist. Caroline had tried to play sometime after that, but she’d never been particularly musical.

“I met someone tonight.” Caroline hadn’t intended to bring up Penelope so abruptly. Still, her curiosity seemed to know no bounds.

“Yes, the American fellow, I saw.”

Caroline frowned. “No, not Mr. Bishop, although I suppose I met him as well. No, I meant I’d met someone you knew. Penelope, or I should probably refer to her as Lady Granger, though she introduced herself with her Christian name.”

Roe stiffened and the cards in his hand stilled, but it was so brief a moment that had she not been studying him, she would likely have missed it. “Yes, I do know Lady Granger.”

“Of course you do. You were betrothed to her once?”

He met her gaze. “No, we were never officially betrothed. I realized things would not work out between the two of us and we parted ways. It was for the best, as she’d already fallen in love with Lord Granger. They married shortly thereafter.”

Was that jealousy or hurt she heard in his voice? It was hard to tell, but there was a decidedly darker tone. Perhaps she shouldn’t have brought her up at all, if she reminded Roe of their painful past. She had always assumed Roe felt love was beneath him, a pedestrian emotion. She’d never considered he’d once loved and lost.

“Ready?” he asked, indicating the cards in his hand.

“Yes.” He still wanted to play, which relieved her. Perhaps that would lighten his mood.

He dealt her cards and she flipped them over, glanced at both. Twenty. His brow slowly rose.

“I’ll stay.”

“Very good.” He checked his own hand. “Dealer takes one. And another one.” His eyes slowly rose to meet hers. He flipped his cards over. “Dealer has twenty-one.”

She turned over her own cards. “We have nothing we’re playing with,” she said. “What do I owe you?”

He cocked his hand to the side. “Nothing. We can merely play to enjoy the game.”

“You don’t believe that. There must always be stakes. You told me that the first time we played. Otherwise, there is no incentive for someone to play with skill. They get lazy, rely on luck. No, there must be something we could exchange.”

“What can you offer me?”

“A kiss,” she said before she thought better of it. She leaned forward, offering herself to him. If nothing else, her advance would give him a chuckle.

“I am not such a scoundrel that I need to win kisses from women at cards.”

“Perhaps.” She eyed him from under her lashes. “But it is not my kisses that I am offering up as prizes. I’m asking for your kisses.” Even as she said the words, her cheeks flamed, but she did not back down. A successful player never backed down from a bluff.

He leaned slowly back in his chair and studied her from behind his cards. “And why would you need to win my kisses?” he asked in a voice that sent fissures of pleasure through her entire body.

About the Author:robyn-dehart-e1348522915473

A life-long lover of stories and adventure, it was either become a stuntwoman for the movies or live out those adventures from the safety of her PJ’s and computer. Award-winning author, Robyn DeHart chose the latter and couldn’t be happier for doing so. Known for her unique plotlines and authentic characters, Robyn is a favorite among readers and reviewers.

Publishers’ Weekly claims her books as “sizzling romance” while the Chicago Tribune dubs her “wonderfully entertaining.” Robyn is an award-winning author as well as being a four-time RT Bookclub Reviewers’ Choice award nominee, and a three-time RomCon Reader’s Crown nominee.

Look for Robyn’s new trilogy on forbidden love coming from Entangled: A Little Bit Wicked (fall 2012), A Little Bit Sinful (spring 2013) and A Little Bit Scandalous (summer 2013).

Also in 2013, she’ll launch a new historical romantic suspense series with NAL, the first in the series is The Secrets of Mia Danvers (2013).

Robyn lives in Texas with her brainy husband, two precocious little girls and two spoiled cats.

https://twitter.com/RobynDeHart

http://www.robyndehart.com

http://pinterest.com/robynwtr/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/288853.Robyn_DeHart

REVIEW: To Tame A Montana Heart

ToTameAMontanHeart_5913_300I like cowboys. They exude old fashioned values and a code of honor that is quickly fading in today’s high tech world. Cowboys reign at the heart of romance. They’re awesome alpha males. Just the sight of a cute butt in tight wranglers, a pair of scruffy boots peeking from beneath a duster, or a Stetson pulled low over a weathered face makes my heart race. And if a cowboy should tip his hat and say, “Howdy, ma’am” . . . well, you’ll have to pick me up off the floor because I’ll be in full swoon.

So when given the chance to review an old fashioned western romance, complete with a cowboy hero and a feisty heroine, how could I say no?

“To Tame A Montana Heart” by Dawn Luedecke unfolds slowly, like a gentle stream meandering across the heartland – until it reaches the foothills where it quickly takes on speed and transforms into a rolling, rollicking mass of white water filled with excitement and a hint of danger. Hang on, because it’s a wild ride.

I loved Travis Simms, the multi-faceted hero who has come to Montana to build a hotel and nurse a broken heart. His efforts to act the gentleman around Dusty Jean Larson backfire when the high-spirited cowgirl scoffs at his polite ways. She’d much rather be busting broncs or fishing in the nearest river. Travis has never met a woman like Dusty. Even though it’s obvious she can take care of herself, he still appoints himself as a guardian to the wild, beautiful blonde.

Their sparring is fueled by the dubious outcome of a horse race where Dusty insists she won Travis’ stallion, Ghost. And so begins a series of sneaky attempts to steal his horse – only to be stolen back by Travis. They eventually call a truce but the competitive angst between the two is always apparent.

The story is filled with one adventure after another from chasing outlaws to confronting Native Americans from the nearby reservation to being duped by Travis’ twin brother and his conniving wife. Ms. Luedecke kept the flavor of the old west throughout the book, and did a wonderful job building a cast of colorful supporting characters. It has a little spice but not so much that you’d be embarrassed to have your older teen or mother reading the same book.

If you love historical westerns blended with a sweet romance, you’ll enjoy “To Tame A Montana Heart”.

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To Tame a Montana Heart
Montana Girl Series, Book One

Dawn Luedecke
Genre: Western Historical

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

ISBN-10: 1612172016
ISBN-13: 978-1612172019
ASIN: B008MZR7DS

Number of pages: 308
Word Count: 87,193

Cover Artist: Tina Lynn

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nhBEPCsswTs

The Wild Rose Press ebook             The Wild Rose Press print

Amazon kindle edition  Amazon paperback edition

Barnes and Noble ebook

Book Description:

Running from a past of privilege, deceit, and danger, Travis Simms is ready to settle down. What better place to forget all he left behind than the quiet little Montana town of Lolo Hot Springs? His goal is clear — build a hotel and his own destiny without complications —until one of the town’s most troublesome women captures his attention.

Dusty Larson is hell bent on independence, helping her sister run the Triple D Ranch. She can do anything a man can, and do it better, so she certainly doesn’t need one in her life. The only problem is she seems to attract bad luck and danger…and Travis. Can he tame her wild ways and keep his bachelor status intact — or does he risk losing his heart?

Excerpt:

She watched him with care. “I don’t know if I love you. I like you, a lot, but I don’t have the slightest idea what love feels like.”

Travis’ smile grew slowly across his face. “I understand. I’m not sure if I love you or not, but I also don’t think I could live without you. So you will always have that.” His voice was almost a whisper when he said the last.

“Truly?” Her voice cracked and she had to force herself to breathe easy.

“Truly.”

She inclined her head and took two brisk steps toward him. She leaned over and kissed him with all the fever of a thousand fires. He reached up and intertwined his hand through her hair to hold her still as he plundered her mouth.

She released him with a shaky breath and jumped back to turn on her heels. “Put something nice on. I’ll be back with a preacher man.”

“You know, I heard you only have to say ‘I marry you’ three times and then you’re hitched.”

She threw him a sassy look and slammed the door shut.

About the Author:Luedecke

A country girl born and bred, Dawn Luedecke has spent most of her life surrounded by horses, country folk, and the wild terrain of Nevada, Idaho and Montana. As a child she would spend many afternoons reading books, watching western classics, and Rogers and Hammerstein movies.

When she grew up she decided to leave the quiet country life for a chance to find adventure by serving a successful tour in the United States Coast Guard. During that time she found her soul mate (and alpha male) and started a family and writing career. She enjoys writing historical and paranormal romance and spends as much time as she can working on her current manuscript.

For more information visit www.dawnluedecke.com

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dawn-Luedecke/118877871497830

Twitter  @d_luedecke

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4509191.Dawn_Luedecke

Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/dluedecke

Don’t Wait Until The “12th of Never” To Read This Book

Author Bella Stumbo is deceased but her works live on. Her true crime account of the deadly divorce between Dan and Betty Broderick has been featured on OPRAH and was a bestseller in the 90’s. It was recently released in digital format, even though Ms. Stumbo died in 2002. If you didn’t read “Until The 12th Of Never” in print, this is your opportunity to catch the digital version. It’s just as chilling. Just as confounding. Just as riveting as the first time.

UNTIL THE 12TH OF NEVERUntil the twelth Of Never Button 300 x 225
Bella Stumbo

Genre: True crime

ASIN: B00BBKEEVO

Kindle

They were two of the most notorious and controversial murder trials of the last twenty-five years, splitting American public opinion in half.

Before dawn on November 5, 1989, Betty Broderick got into her car and drove over to the house in San Diego of her lawyer ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick III, and his new wife, Linda. Arriving at 5:30 a.m., she used a key that she had obtained from one of her children to enter the house by a back door and climbed the stairs to Dan and Linda’s bedroom. Five shots rang out in the dark, three hitting their targets. Linda died instantly. Dan lingered on for several minutes. As he tried to call for help, Betty stamped on his hand and tore the phone from the wall.

The prosecution claimed it was as about as clear a case ofpremeditated murder as anyone could imagine. Betty claimed she had gone over to the house to talk to Dan – or maybe to commit suicide in front of him – but when someone shouted, ‘Call the police’, she got flustered and started firing.

Betty Broderick was acquitted of first degree murder in her second trial but found guilty of second degree murder.

To some, Betty Broderick is virtually the patron saint of the sanctity of marriage, executing her abusive, cheating husband and his ‘nineteen year old college dropout of a Polack whore’ (actually Linda was twenty-eight, a college graduate and a professional paralegal). To others, Dan Broderick suffered his wife’s abuse of him for fourteen years of marriage, left her well provided for and then married the love of his life, only to be continually stalked for seven years, to have Betty repeatedly incite his children to kill him and Linda, to find her driving her car through the front door of his new house, and then to be murdered in the coldest of blood.

Bella Stumbo’s account of the Dan, Linda and Betty Broderick affair is encyclopedic and definitive, and ‘Until the Twelfth ofNever’ was a runaway international bestseller when it was first published twenty years ago. Bello Stumbo herself died in 2002, so was not alive to cover Betty Broderick’s parole hearing in November 2011, a short account of which is included in this book.

Dan Broderick, Linda Broderick and Betty Broderick – saints or sinners? Betty Broderick – sane or insane? 

Read ‘Until the Twelfth of Never’ and you will certainly have an opinion.

REVIEW:

There are always two sides to every story. I’ve been told that since I was a child. Bella Stumbo, a reporter with the LA Times, delved deeply into the acrimonious marriage and divorce of Dan and Betty Broderick, and subsequent murder of Dan and his new wife, to uncover the murky truth on both sides. It’s not pretty, but it’s an honest assessment of the malice and mean spirit that permeated both parties.

Being of a “certain” age, I sympathized with Betty more than perhaps a younger reader might. I matured in an era where “good” wives worked hard to support their husbands through school and onward to a promising career. I know more than one woman who gave everything to her husband/family and was then cast aside when his professional goals were achieved. This happened to Betty. She was faced with re-defining her identity. She didn’t succeed.

Instead, Betty Broderick festered into an angry, bitter woman consumed by a perceived loss to the point that her hatred drove her to murder. And yet, her ex-husband was far from an innocent party. His position as President of the San Francisco Bar Association allowed him to manipulate and humiliate Betty in a legal tug-o-war.

I don’t think there are any righteous parties in this tragic tale. Everyone loses . . . Betty, Dan, Linda (his new wife) and sadly, their children. Read this riveting story for yourself and form your own opinions. I daresay you’ll be reminded of someone you know because this relationship scenario is unfortunately, still alive and well.

For those interested, there is a movie about Betty Broderick on Netflix
http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/A_Woman_Scorned_The_Betty_Broderick_Story/70041003?locale=en-US
It will also be airing on the Lifetime Movie Network Sat, Mar 23 at 8 PM and Sun, Mar 24 at 12 AM

And here’s a real life photo album of Betty
http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/woman-scorned-betty-broderick-story/photos#id=1

About Bella Stumbo

Bella Stumbo was a gifted writer whose dogged reporting, grace with words and ability to make the most obstinate subjects reveal themselves led to some of the most memorable profiles and features published in The LA Times.

Around The LA Times, her habits were legendary. She gently coaxed reluctant subjects into an interview, often after submitting a previous story for examination, or after a mutual friend vouched for her character. Then she trailed her subjects for as long as they tolerated her – sometimes months on end.

When it came time to write, she would hole up at her house, not to emerge for days, during which she did not eat or sleep but chain-smoked a storm. When she was done, she would look haggard, like someone who had spent six nights on a Greyhound bus.

Review: SONATA – A Romantic Mystery

I love romance and I love a good mystery . . . so, of course I love SONATA by Blair McDowell. It combines suspense, family drama, and an old love – all elements that blend together like oil on water, creating a delightful montage with depth and character that stays the course to the last page. And if you don’t believe me, enter the contest to win one of FIVE PDF copies to be given away during the book tour. Just click the link below to enter.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sayuri McAllister is a world renown cellist who returns home after an extended tour for a well deserved rest. Her new stepmother is less than welcoming, and the two women soon find themselves vying for the patriarch’s affections. Enter the old high school flame, Michael Donovan, who is now a police detective and just as attractive as Sayuri found him ten years ago.

Sayuri is lured into normality as Michael investigates a jewelry heist at her father’s house, entertaining thoughts she and the good detective might achieve a lasting lifestyle as a couple. Her stepmother’s brother, Hugh James, soon appears like a Pied Piper, cloaking Sayuri’s good sense with doubt in an effort to win her affections.

Things take a nasty turn when accidents start happening and no one trusts anyone . . . what else would you expect from a whodunit? Except you should be able to figure out the “who”. Unraveling the “why” takes a bit more time and effort.

SONATA is a delightful journey into the unknown where romance leads the way through a murky set of events. If you like Romantic Suspense, you should enjoy this fast paced read.

Sonata_Button_300_x_225

Sonata
Blair McDowell

Genre: Romantic mystery

Publisher: Rebel Ink Press

ISBN:  9781937265670

Number of pages:       130
Word Count:   56,500

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVAhOqelyEE

Purchase Link: http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Sonata.html

Book Description:

A jewel heist…

When renowned concert artist, Sayuri McAllister, returns to the west coast of Canada after an absence of five years, she discovers her family home has been a broken into and jewelry worth two million dollars is missing. Michael Donovan, Sayuri’s old high school flame, now a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, is the officer in charge of the case.

What chance can he have…

Michael takes one look at Sayuri and falls in love with her all over again. But they parted in anger years ago and Sayuri is no longer the innocent girl he once knew. What chance can there be for a Vancouver cop with someone as famous as Sayuri McAllister?  Especially when that cop is investigating her family and friends?
An unexpected marriage…

Then Sayuri’s widowed father, Sean, marries Alyssa James, a woman Sayuri has never even met. The three live uneasily together in the Point Grey mansion until the unexpected arrival of Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, a devastatingly handsome, charming Irishman who immediately begins a campaign to bed and wed the delicious and wealthy Sayuri.

Things take a dangerous turn…

Accidents begin to happen. Or are they accidents?  Nothing is as it seems. Michael distrusts Hugh James and fears that Sayuri’s life may be in danger.

Blair-2012-256x230  About the Author:

I started to write soon after I found my first pencil. But I began to write for publication about 30 years ago — professional books. I wrote six of them, all still in print and still in use. Only lately have I turned to fiction. I’d have done it a lot sooner if I’d had any idea how much fun it was!

I’ve lived in many different places. The US — Certain cities call to me. I love San Francisco and Seattle and the wonderful Oregon Coast. Australia — among the most open welcoming people in the world, and a wide open young country with incredible land and sea scapes, with amazing animal and bird life right out of science fiction. Canada — HOME. The place where I belong.

I travel a lot. I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. I have worked and studied in many places — Hungary, Australia the US and Canada, and have spoken in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe.  I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. I enjoy my own as well — but variety is indeed the spice of my life.

I keep busy — and I love my life. I love meeting the people who come here to the west coast of Canada and stay in my B&B. I love traveling after the tourist season is over. And I love writing. My interests?? Music, especially opera, reading everything in print, and Writing.  And walking on the beach and swimming. At one point I had hoped to swim in every major sea and ocean. I’ve realized that may not be possible in one lifetime — but trying has been fun!

Website:    http://www.blairmcdowell.com

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

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/u/0/111235595606875813906/posts

Blog:            http://blairmcdowellauthor.blogspot.ca/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807790.Blair_McDowell

“Fire In The Blood” Sizzles!

SUMMARY:

Fire in the Blood
Bad Witch Book 3
Robyn Bachar

Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61921-173-5
ASIN: B008PGMPYK

Number of pages: 139
Word Count: 33,000
 
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
 
Samhain     Amazon       Barnes and Noble
 
BOOK DESCRIPTION:
 
It’s good to be bad…

Patience Roberts is the last summoner standing between magiciankind and certain demon invasion. After banishing two or three demons a day for too long, gods know she’d like nothing better than a little down time with her number one distraction—Faust. 

But with vampires, hunters and assassins lined up to take her out, who has the time? Still, she has to admit her resistance to the amorous faerie is wearing thin. Not that she’ll ever let on—after all, faeries are notorious for their short romantic attention spans.

Faust, a Shadowspawn faerie, watched as his outcast clan dwindled to nothing. Determined to hold on to the woman he loves, he’ll do whatever it takes to protect Patience. And one day build a life with her.

When an old demon enemy punches through the barrier between the worlds, Patience must draw on every ounce of her reputation as a cast-iron bitch to temporarily banish him. To get rid of him for good, she’ll have to sacrifice one too many pieces of her soul to leave room for love…

MY THOUGHTS:

When an author posts a disclaimer such as Robyn Bachar did for “Fire In The Blood” ….

Warning: Contains a hero and heroine so hot they’re literally on fire, naughty faerie sex, post-coital cuteness, angsty magician drama, and yet more gratuitous violence against vampires, demons, and innocent furniture.

…. you know it’s going to be one hot read. And it was.  Phew! I’m still dabbing the sweat from my brow.

“Fire In The Blood” is the third installment in the Bad Witch series. It’s a quick read novella but trust me, you get a lot crammed into 33,000 words.

Patience Roberts is a witch, or better known as a Summoner, the last of her kind in her region and the only one stopping an imminent demon invasion. She’s tired of the constant battles, although she honors her duties, and she’s tired of resisting sexy Shadowspawn faerie, Faust.

Faust is determined not to let Patience slip away, especially after watching his outcast clan dwindle to nothing. But convincing Patience he’s in for the long haul is another matter.

Both of these characters are believable, sensual, and kick ass cool. Throw in a quirky sidekick named Harvey, and you have the making of a good read.

I loved Patience tough, street wise banter and style. It’s hard not to like a snarky heroine whether she’s in the throes of life and death combat or thrashing with her lover. Faust is charming and sexy. No wonder Patience is powerless to resist him!

I found this book appealing and fun. It was the first I’ve read of the series and I’m definitely putting the first two on my To Be Read list…Blood Smoke and Mirrors and Bewitched Blooded and Bewildered. 

EXCERPT:

“You still haven’t eaten,” Harvey reminded after I hung up the phone.

“Drive through. Don’t let me forget.”

“You said that this morning.”

“I did?” I asked in surprise.

“Yes, you did.”

Damn it all to hell and back, my brain must really be fried, because I had zero memory of that. At least I’d been chugging black coffee all day, so there was something in my system, even if it was only caffeine. I couldn’t keep up this pace for much longer, but I didn’t have a choice. I was the only one left to handle the demon problem. I’d tried to call in extra help from the coasts, and everyone turned me down. They were too afraid of the hunters, and though I couldn’t blame them for that, it still pissed me off. I outsourced what work I could to the local guardians, but it wasn’t enough. They weren’t specialists like me.

I was trying to bail out the Titanic with a teaspoon. It was only a matter of time before we all drowned.

“Well, this time I mean it,” I said lamely.

“Of course, Mistress.”

I grabbed my black cashmere coat from the rack and donned it along with my scarf, then slung my messenger bag over my shoulder. This time I made it halfway across the room before I was stopped, but it wasn’t the phone that interrupted me. It was a faerie invasion, and I had only a moment to recognize Faust by the smoky lenses of his round, dark glasses before he pounced on me. He kissed me fiercely and nudged me back until I stumbled into the front of my desk.

“I dislike this overcoat. It’s much too bulky.” He reached for the buttons and I batted his hand away.

“I’ll be in the car, Mistress,” Harvey called out loudly before vanishing. He’s not a voyeur, and he disapproved of my relationship with Faust. I didn’t approve of my relationship with Faust either. Every summoner knows you shouldn’t get involved with a faerie, because it always ends badly.

“Cut it out. I’m on a call,” I warned.

Faust grinned, and my chest tightened with an emotion I fought not to show. Yes, this was headed toward disaster, but I couldn’t help myself. Faust was the most addictive temptation I’d ever met. He was just so damn pretty—tall for a faerie, which made him about my height, and dark haired with a pale complexion that spoke more of a vampire than a faerie. Faust had an angular face with high, sharp cheekbones that reminded me a bit of a runway model, a finely-drawn brow and a smile that could make a girl weak in the knees in 0.5 seconds.

“It can’t wait,” he insisted. “I’ve missed you.”

He tugged my scarf aside and kissed my neck, and it was suddenly much too warm to be wearing my coat. I didn’t fight him as he unbuttoned the garment and slid it off. I kissed him and indulged in the lovely diversion of letting his nimble hands roam for a few moments, because the past few days had been all business and no pleasure. But I had an appointment to keep, and I pushed him away with a disappointed sigh.

“I missed you too, babe, but I don’t have time for a break. I’m on call 24/7 now.”

“I know you are.” Faust’s expression sobered, and he caressed my cheek. “You’re a brave woman, Patience, and I admire that about you. But that’s also why I’m here.”

“You’re here because you admire me? Funny, seemed more like desire a second ago,” I teased. The corners of his mouth twitched, and I bit back the urge to kiss him. Experience had taught me that if I encouraged him I’d end up naked and bent over the desk.

“There’s a problem—” he began, and I cut him off.

“I don’t have time for more problems. We’re all full up here.”

“This is serious. Zachary has hired someone to kill you.”

About the Author:

Robyn Bachar was born and raised in Berwyn, Illinois, and loves all things related to Chicago, from the Cubs to the pizza. It seemed only natural to combine it with her love of fantasy, and tell stories of witches and vampires in the Chicagoland area. As a gamer, Robyn has spent many hours rolling dice, playing rock-paper-scissors, and slaying creatures in MMPORGs.

http://robynbachar.com

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http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3517688.Robyn_Bachar

http://therobyn.blogspot.com/

Review: Nothing But Trouble by Lisa Mondello

I love westerns, cowboys, and sexy romance – especially when the characters are polar opposites. Perhaps that’s why I loved “Nothing But Trouble” by Lisa Mondello. I know cowboys are not everyone’s cup of tea but Stoney Buxton is not just any cowboy. He’s a bull rider with an agenda. He needs money to help with the family ranch and his dad’s medical bills.

Melanie Summers is offering to pay him an impressive sum to be her guide for a one month foray into the Wyoming wilderness because she has an agenda, too. Melanie is a zoologist with plans to go to Kenya. Unfortunately, her protective father is funding the project and objects to her trip, vowing to withdraw his support if she goes. They reach an agreement – if Melanie can survive one month in the wilderness, he’ll drop his objections. Melanie knows her father intends to pay off any guide she hires  so she finds Stoney, a stubborn man but one with enough pride to reject her father’s bribe.

And the fun begins. What Stoney doesn’t realize is Melanie is a diabetic. Her parents have coddled her throughout her life and she is desperately seeking personal freedom. When Stoney tries to protect his client, he doesn’t understand why she gets so mad. Melanie sees him acting like her parents. He sees a sheltered city girl who is out of her element in the wild.

“Nothing But Trouble” is a romance. It’s not trying to hide that fact. But there’s an underlying thread of building a relationship with someone who has an incurable disease like diabetes, and I found that an interesting point. I recommend this book to anyone who likes cowboys and sexy romance.

Excerpt Nothing But Trouble

His jaw tightened. Yes, there was something definitely wrong here. And money had nothing to do with it. It had everything to do with this beauty standing in front of him, who was clueless about what she was getting her pretty little hide into. “No,” he replied tersely.

“Mr. Buxton, I need your help.”

“Tourist season is in full swing. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding someone else.”

He turned his back to her and began walking along the fence toward the barn, almost forgetting… Abruptly, he glanced up and saw the charred remains of the barn. The place where all his troubles had started just one year ago. It hadn’t taken but a second for him to hear her boots digging into the dusty gravel behind him, jarring him from his thoughts.

“Then I’ll do it myself,” she said to his back.

His whole body stiffened. He angled back to read her face, to see if she was just being a spoiled rotten rich kid, trying to get her way, or if she was actually serious. Seeing her head held high and her arms crossed in front of her, he realized she was dead serious.

And dead she’d be if she stepped one boot into those mountains alone.

“You’ll do no such thing.”

Frustration flaring, he lifted his dusty hat and forced his fingers through the thick crop of black hair before returning the hat to his head.

“You just don’t get it, do you? You’re not asking me to take you on a theme park ride where you’ll get to see the wonders of the world at a nice safe distance. This is God’s country. The creatures that live up there don’t know civilization, and you are no better than them. You could–probably will–get killed if you go out there alone.” His lips twitched, taking a good long appraising look at the woman in front of him. “You might even chip a nail on that pretty hand of yours.”

Nothing But Trouble
Lisa Mondello
 
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
 
ASIN: B005O549IA
 
Number of pages: 148
Word Count: 40,000

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Book Description:

Contemporary Western Romance Novel

What’s a girl to do all alone with a rodeo cowboy for 1 month in the Wyoming wilderness?

Melanie Summers has something to prove! Being a zoologist is her dream and the only thing standing in the way of her going on an African expedition is her father and his fear.

So she strikes a deal. She has to spend a full month in the Wyoming wilderness and show her father she can handle being in a remote area while managing her Type 1 diabetes before he’ll agree to fund the expedition to Africa and allow her to go. But her daddy isn’t the only one convinced she’ll fail…

But she’s not about to let any man underestimate what she can do. Especially not the sexy rodeo cowboy she’s hired to help get her through the month in the wilderness.

Yes, he knows what he’s doing. But so does she! Yes, he’s ruggedly handsome…well, he can’t help that, can he? But no sexy cowboy is going to keep her down!

Stoney Buxton needs to raise cash fast to save the family ranch after a barn fire injured his father and left the family finances in ruin. Re-entering the rodeo circuit seems like the best way to get the money he needs. That is until Melanie Summers shows up at his ranch flashing easy money.

To everyone else, Melanie’s offer seems like the answer to all his prayers. But one look at her long legs and pouting lips and Stoney knows this high society gal is going to be nothing but trouble…for his cowboy heart.

About the Author:

Lisa Mondello (a.k.a. LA Mondello) has held many jobs in her life but being a published authors is the last job she’ll ever have. She’s not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she’d still be penning stories with paper and pen.  Her first book, All I Want for Christmas is You, was the winner of the Golden Quill contest for Best First Book and to date has had over 400,000 downloads worldwide.

She is currently the author of 14 novels under the name Lisa Mondello and LA Mondello. You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at http://www.lisamondello.blogspot.com

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