Monday, November 28, 2016

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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow Publication Date: November 28th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

Jack Valentini isn’t my type.
Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.
Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.
But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me for ten days, and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.
His huge, hard muscles.
Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.
And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife three years ago left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.
But he’s wrong.
I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.
“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown

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Purchase Links:

About the Author:

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin






Summary from GoodReads:


Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France--a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family's business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.
 

My Thoughts:

 

     “Were beautiful things more beautiful when you couldn’t keep them?”
 
     Caitriona Wallace is a widow in the 1800s which means that she has very little she can do to support herself short of marrying again.  After a rather unpleasant first marriage, she is not eager to try the institution again so she takes on the job of chaperone to Jamie Arrol and his sister, Alice.  Their uncle, an engineer and bridge builder sends them all to Paris to help Jamie settle into a career and hopefully, get Alice a rich husband.  This should be a simple and well-paying job for Cait…

     Émile Nouguier has distanced himself from the family glassblowing business in order to achieve his dream of engineering and creating.  He is early forties and unmarried much to his mother’s chagrin.  He also is having an affair with a beautiful, mysterious and married woman.  Émile’s work is truly his passion, helping to build Eiffel’s grand tower in time for the World’s Fair. Can he achieve his dreams and still find time to straighten out his personal life?

     Ms. Colin has painted a wonderful picture of Paris in the late 1800’s amidst changes and growth.  Like the beautiful but simple cover photo she pulls you right into the story; so well that you can smell, taste, and feel it right along with the characters. 

     The characters are believable as are their stories of love, pain, loss and betrayals.  Cait is a smart, strong woman who is sick of the conventions of the times but yet doesn’t know how to live without them. Her charges, Jamie & Alice, are both rather immature but throughout the story you are still rooting for them to grow up and find happiness. Émile is also a wonderful character that you at times love and other times want to shake some sense into. 

     The city of Paris, the history and the building of the tower are all very much a part of the story as well.  They did not detract or bore me but were actually rather interesting. Ms. Colin did a very fine job of giving you just enough detail to walk the line between learning something interesting and going overboard. 

     My only real complaint might be that the “name dropping” of artistic historical figures was sometimes a bit much and unnecessary…but it didn’t really bother me that much! 

   This was for me a very wonderful romantic story full of interesting historical details and a wonderful, heartfelt story.

4.5/5 stars

Release Date: November 29, 2016    

 
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fractures in Ink by Helena Hunting

 

Summary from Goodreads:


Sometimes the things we shouldn't want become exactly what we need...

Waitressing at a seedy strip club isn't ideal, but it pays Sarah Adamson's tuition. Her goal is to finish her master's program and get a job that doesn't involve tight skirts and groping hands. She doesn't need distractions, especially not the one that comes in the form of a hot-as-sin tattoo artist who works across the street from her apartment.

Kicked out at sixteen, and a high school dropout, Chris Zelter is familiar with wanting things he can't have. His fractured life has never been easy. As the product of someone else's bad decisions, he knows exactly what happens when the wrong person controls your marionette strings. Now an accomplished tattoo artist in a renowned studio in Chicago, Chris has it together…mostly, apart from his infatuation with Sarah. She's way out of his league, and Chris knows it.  But he's willing to be her bad decision...at least for now.

 


 
  

My Thoughts:


     Chris has had a pretty rough upbringing and after being kicked out of his home at sixteen by his abusive stepfather, he didn’t help himself by getting involved with the wrong crowd of people.  Now in his mid-twenties he has finally, with help from Hayden and friends, starting to make a good life for himself.  Chris met Sarah and even though he doesn’t feel good enough for her, he can’t stay away either. 

     This is the third novel in the Clipped Wings series by Helena Hunting but it is a stand-alone so you do not need to read the first two in order to enjoy this one.  This is a very different type of story from Ms. Hunting’s Pucked series in that this is a romance but with a lot deeper emotions and turmoil.  The characters are from troubled backgrounds and are struggling to fight back against what they grew up with to become better, more stable adults. 

     I really enjoyed this story because of the depth of the characters.  Everyone has struggles but Chris and Sarah’s are worse than most and it was great to see them grow and fall for each other.  The story, for the most part, centered on Chris and his past/current issues so I do wish that we had gotten a little more of Sarah’s background.  We got the basics of her upbringing and her mother’s issues but that was small compared to Chris’ story. 

     Helena Hunting’s writing is always great and if you are looking for a really good romance with a side of angst this is a great series to look into!

4/5 stars


Fractures in Ink by Helena Hunting promo tour!

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Fractures in Ink by Helena Hunting Publication Date: November 14th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance

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*My review is coming later this morning-stay stuned!*

Synopsis:

Sometimes the things we shouldn’t want become exactly what we need . . . Waitressing at a seedy strip club isn’t ideal, but it pays Sarah Adamson’s tuition. Her goal is to finish her master’s program and get a job that doesn’t involve tight skirts and groping hands. She doesn’t need distractions. Especially not the one that comes in the form of a hot-as-sin tattoo artist who works across the street from her apartment. Kicked out at sixteen, and a high school dropout, Chris Zelter is familiar with wanting things he can’t have. His fractured life has never been easy. As the product of someone else’s bad decisions, he knows exactly what happens when the wrong person controls your marionette strings. Now an accomplished tattoo artist in a renowned studio in Chicago, Chris has it together. Mostly. Apart from his infatuation with Sarah. She’s way out of his league, and Chris knows it. But he’s willing to be her bad decision. At least for now.

Excerpt:

I’d been seeking out Chris as much as I could lately, even though he was worried about my lack of sleep. My feelings for him had become like weeds, growing faster than I could contain them. I should’ve been protecting my heart instead of trying to hand it over so it could be crushed later. So tonight, instead of pushing him to talk about whatever was making him hurt, I let him have what he wanted: an escape. I could be that. I was exactly that every night I worked in the club. I was my customers’ escape from life, from the wives who ignored them, or from the girlfriends who didn’t exist. I smiled and batted my eyelashes and pretended their lewd comments were funny. Tonight I could easily be whatever Chris needed, and if that was naked and a distraction from the things outside of his control, so be it. Or that’s what I told myself as I pushed his boxers over his hips. My clothing took a little longer to remove since I was fully dressed. Chris wasn’t as slow as usual, or gentle. There was an urgency in him I’d never experienced before. What he wouldn’t give me in words, he gave me in actions. Desperation leaked through, making him frantic as he pulled my shirt over my head and fought with the clasp on my bra. “Fuck,” he groaned. “I just wanna get my hands on all of you.” I brushed him away, taking care of the bra for him. Sitting on the edge of the bed, I opened my legs and welcomed him between them. He locked shaking fingers around the waistband of my jeans and paused, his expression clouding. “You sure you’re okay with this?” “With you wanting me?” I popped the button. He lifted his gaze. “I fucking need you.” I shivered at his tone, wishing it indicated a different kind of need—a sustained one that was more than physical. But I pushed the feelings down, locked them inside my aching heart, and released my zipper. “Then you should have me.”

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About the Author:

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Connect with Helena:

 
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Monday, November 21, 2016

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After We Fall by Melanie Harlow Publication Date: November 28th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

Jack Valentini isn’t my type.
Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.
Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.
But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me for ten days, and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.
His huge, hard muscles.
Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.
And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife three years ago left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.
But he’s wrong.
I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.
“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown

Excerpt:

“Wow,” she said, shutting the screen door behind her. “That was close. Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome.” I crossed my arms, wishing I’d thought to grab a shirt. “Want to tell me what you were doing out there?”
Her cheeks colored. “Um, I was taking a run.”
“Up a tree?”
She laughed nervously. “No. Well, I didn’t start out in a tree. That happened later.”
I cocked my head, unable to resist giving her a hard time. Not so sure of yourself now, are you, Barbie? “Oh yeah?”
“Yes. See, I left the cottage I’m renting without using the bathroom by mistake,” she began, twisting her fingers together, “and I was planning on running a loop around the farm, but it’s bigger than I thought.”
“Ah. So you were looking for a bathroom in the woods?”
“Well, yes.” She swallowed. “Sort of. But then I heard a splash and saw you…” Her cheeks were practically purple now.
I played dumb. “Saw me what?”
“Saw you naked, OK?” she blurted, throwing her hands up. “I admit it—I saw you naked.”
I had no hangups about nudity, but I was damn serious about my privacy, and about people sneaking up on me. But her embarrassment was funny. The two times I’d seen her before, she’d been so polished and poised. It felt good to put her in her place a little. “So you climbed a tree for a better view, is that it?”
Bowing her head, she dragged the toe of one shoe across the wood planks of the porch floor. “Something like that.” Then she looked up at me. Took a breath. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I was—I mean, I got—I couldn’t—” She sighed, briefly closing her eyes. “I have no excuse. Will you accept my apology?”
She was prettier without makeup, I decided. And the way she wore her hair off her face emphasized the wideness of her eyes, the angle of her cheekbones, the arch of her brows. Her lips didn’t need all that glossy crap, either. They were a perfect rosy pink, and I wondered if they’d feel as soft as they looked.
Fuck. I hadn’t kissed anyone in three years.
Clearing my throat, I took a step back. “Yeah. It’s fine.” Now get out of here.
She didn’t move. “So you’re not going to fire me?”
“I never hired you.”
“I know. But I really want this job. I think I can help, Jack. I know I can.”
“Suit yourself. I want nothing to do with it.” My name on her lips was trouble. Needing some distance from her, I started walking toward the dock to get my shoes and socks, but she followed me. God, she was a pest. It reminded me of the way Steph used to tag along after the boys when we were kids, wanting to get in our games.
“Are you going to be like this the entire time I’m here?” she asked.
“Like what?”
“Moody and uncooperative?”
“Probably.”
“Why? Do you hate me that much?”
“I don’t hate anybody. I just don’t see why we should pay some city girl who’s never set foot on a farm to advise us.” We reached the dock, and I leaned down to get my stuff.
“I’m not even asking to be paid, so piss off!” she shouted, her voice carrying on the water.
I straightened. “Oh, you’re working for free?”
“Yes!”
“Then you’re an idiot. Or so rich you don’t need the money.”
“I’m not an idiot,” she said through clenched teeth.
“So you’re rich, then.” I don’t know why I was being such an asshole. But for some reason, I did not want to let her see another side of me, or see another side to her. “I should have guessed.”
She crossed her arms. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you look like you’ve led a charmed life. Like you’ve had everything you’ve ever wanted handed to you. Like you’ve never gotten your hands dirty.”
“So get them dirty.”
I almost fell off the dock. “What?”
“Get them dirty. Teach me about working this farm. I want to learn.”
Was she serious? The last thing I needed was to drag her ass around all day, explaining things. Or stare at her ass all day, imagining things. But one look at her defiant face and I shook my head. “Why do I feel like if I say no, you’ll just keep bothering me?”
She smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, rocking forward on her toes. “Because I will. I don’t like being told no.”
“Of course you don’t.” Jesus, she was trouble. A bad apple—smooth and shiny on the outside, spoiled rotten on the inside. But for no good reason, I found myself giving in. “Fine. Go change your clothes.”

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iBooks: http://apple.co/2g8oepo Nook: http://bit.ly/2gvsWRW Sign up to get notified when it's live on Amazon: http://bit.ly/1HY7Z75

About the Author:

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle


Summary from Amazon: 


     The Hamptons are known for beautiful beaches, luxurious living, millionaire mansions, and now...murder!
     Antonia Bingham, a renowned chef and the new owner of East Hampton's Windmill Inn, escaped to the Hamptons to get away from a harrowing past. Yet now she finds herself in more danger than ever when she discovers the inn's previous owners may have been victims of murder. Will her overly inquisitive personality be her downfall as she digs up secrets in her attempt to solve the crime?
     Antonia's investigation weaves through the lives of the celebrities, year-round locals and the wealthy summer residents who all call the Hamptons home in her quest to reveal a dangerous killer. 

My Thoughts: 

      Antonia needed a do over on her life so at the suggestion of her best friend, Genevieve, she uses most of her inheritance to buy an inn and restaurant in East Hamptons, New York.  What she doesn’t know is that the town talks of a curse that claims that all the inn’s owners die under suspicious circumstances.  Unfortunately, Antonia only hears about this curse after she has done a complete renovation and has officially opened for business, what can she do now? Solve the murders, of course!

     There is quite the cast of characters here! Movie stars, tourists, tourist hating locals, etc.  Antonia is spunky and fun but I felt that we never got to know her and since she is the main character that would have been nice.  Some of the townspeople are quirky and fun but it seems like you only get small bits about them as well. 

     The only characters that stood out were the local crime reporter, Larry, and the best friend, Genevieve.  The only reasons are that Larry was such an obnoxious man and Genevieve was immature and didn’t even seem to be liked by Antonia!  I would have like a few more people to like in East Hamptons.

     The setting is idyllic and sounds beautiful and Antonia’s quite the chef and foodie so reading some of the restaurant and kitchen scenes made me hungry.  I could picture the inn and it sounded great but a wonderful setting isn’t all you need in a good mystery.  The idea behind the mystery was a good one but I honestly did not even care who may or may not have murdered these people that we didn’t even get to know. 

   I think that this could have been a great cozy mystery with all the quirky characters and the setting but there was just too much miscellaneous and useless information put in instead of details that added to the story.  Too many incidences of mundane information thrown in (cheese love, 2 pages of changing a light bulb!?) that didn't add to the story or the characters.  At nearly 400 pages, I was expecting a much more enjoyable read and in depth read.

2/5 stars

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

We're celebrating the release of STROKED HARD with an excerpt!


We're celebrating the release of STROKED HARD! Check out the excerpt and teasers below!


STROKED HARD
Scheduled to release: November 1, 2016

Sports Romance
Cover Designed by: Indie Solutions by Murphy Rae
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dGA5s9
iBooks: http://apple.co/2eQuMZR
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2dPh3Qc
Nook: to come!

He’s hot. Like, stop breathing kind of hot with his killer body, vivid blue eyes, and constant five o’clock shadow.

Did I mention his body?

Watching Hollis Knightly, Olympic diving gold medalist, man-pony specialist—and cocky bastard—stand up on the diving platform in nothing but a small piece of Spandex? Yeah, I’m beguiled.
And easily seduced.

I want to keep things light but he won’t leave me alone. And hell, if he’s not wearing me thin.

What is supposed to be a simple summer fling with a very hot man, has now morphed into a f*cked-up mess of feelings, attachment, and dare I say it…love. But I don’t do relationships. And Hollis Knightly does.






 
 

EXCERPT:

“Have you ever read a romance novel, boobarella?”
Her smile turns into a scowl from my nickname, making me chuckle. “Don’t call me that.”
“Answer the question, have you?”
“Not really. Does reading the first chapter of The Notebook count?”
The Notebook, God, what a classic. I’m pretty sure almost everyone has read that book. I’m one of those guys who likes to read the book before the movie comes out so I can bitch about the book being way better later on. The book is always better . . . always.
But that Noah Calhoun, now there is a true romantic. He’s got his shit under control and knows how to woo a woman. If only the male race would all strive to be like him, we might have less violence and more orgasms.
The Notebook counts. I love that book, but you need to read more than the first chapter.”
“You’ve read it?”
I nod and give her my best shy smile. “You would be hard-pressed to find a mainstream romance book I haven’t read. I’m also very much into the indie scene.”
“I had no idea men read romance novels.”
I wink at her. “The smart ones do.”
“Okay,” she shifts in her lounger, looking like she’s about to challenge me, “tell me why you like reading romance novels.”
“Easy.” I lean forward and say, “It’s a brief glimpse into the woman’s psyche. For the most part, romance novels are written by women, which is clutch for us men, because we are able to take these fantasies of being fucked up against a wall, or fingered under the table at dinner, or eaten out on the counter of the kitchen and turn them into a reality.”
She slowly gulps. If I wasn’t paying attention, I wouldn’t have seen it, but it’s obvious with that little movement in her throat that my words have affected her. 
“I’m a pleaser, Melony. I’m a woo-er. I’m a romantic who knows how to fuck you senseless.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Her eyes search mine. Because I have a long list of things I want to do to you, you fucking gorgeous woman. Kiss her senseless at the end of each day; lather her up in the shower and worship every part of her body; finger her beautiful pussy to the point she screams my name; wake her up in the morning with my mouth between her thighs, or my lips wrapped around her tits. Yeah. I’ve thought about what I want to do to her, but if I keep thinking all these things I won’t be able to walk away from my lounge chair.
I stand up, gathering my items and then glance down at her. “Because, sooner or later, I will be fucking you up against a wall, fingering you under the dinner table, and eating that sweet pussy of yours on the kitchen counter. Mark my fucking words, Melony, I am going to woo you so hard, you won’t know what hit you.”
With a parting wink, I leave her with her mouth agape and a confused look on her face.
My job here is done.

 
 


NOW AVAILABLE!

STROKED by Meghan Quinn
Released: July 19, 2016
Cover Designer: Murphy Rae

BLURB:
Reese King: Olympic medalist, underwear model, Greek god.

His body is chiseled from rock, sculpted by the weight room, and refined by water.

On a daily basis his skin is completely bare for everyone to see, tan and defined, only covered up by a minuscule piece of spandex. There is no denying his sex appeal.

I hate to admit it, but I’m head over heels infatuated with him.

There is one HUGE problem though. His achingly gorgeous abs, inked up arm, and cocky swagger belong to my boss, the high-profile, reality star bitch from hell and certified heinous human being, Bellini Chambers.

What I think is going to be an easy job assisting a glorified wench turns into a cluster f*ck of epic proportions.



STROKED LONG by Meghan Quinn
Scheduled to release: September 20, 2016

Sports Romance
Cover Designed by: Indie Solutions by Murphy Rae
BLURB:
From his dirty-blond hair and breathtaking smile, to the abs from heaven and the irresistible V in his waistline, everything about Bodi Olympic-gold-medalist Banks screams hot piece of @$$.

Yet there’s more.

Dark shadows lurk behind his soulful, serious eyes.

I’m enamored. He’s captured me.

How can running an art foundation with Bodi Banks turns into a slow-burning, epic romance, even though he tries to push me away at every chance? How can I stay away from a broken, routine-driven man whose soul cries to be forgiven for a crime only he believes he committed? Or is that a lie?

**STROKED LONG can be read as a stand alone.

About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!


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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin


Summary from Amazon:


Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world.

Despite her age, however, the young queen is no puppet. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

“I do not like the name Alexandrina,” she proclaims. “From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.”

Next, people say she must choose a husband. Everyone keeps telling her she’s destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.

On June 19th, 1837, she was a teenager. On June 20th, 1837, she was a queen. Daisy Goodwin’s impeccably researched and vividly imagined new book brings readers Queen Victoria as they have never seen her before.

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My Thoughts:


     Young Victoria has lived a very sheltered life.  Her mother, the Duchess, along with her   “companion”/advisor Sir Conroy always told her it was for her safety since she was next in line for the throne.  Maybe this was true but it seems that it was mostly done so that they had control over her and Victoria cannot wait until the day that ends!

     Going from a sheltered country life to being the Queen of England at the tender age of eighteen must have been quite a shock as well as very nerve wracking.  I cannot imagine how that would be even if you were groomed since birth for the job!  Victoria takes the throne with little knowledge of how things work and with only the Prime Minister for help and while she was rather immature at times she finds her voice and becomes quite independent. 

     At times I was frustrated with Victoria and the way she acted or reacted to some situation because it was hard to remember that she was only a child.  She was, at times, quite selfish and demanding and had a hard time seeing how her acts affected the bigger picture but she was kind and loving to her subjects for the most part.  Her crush on Prime Minister Melbourne may have been considered inappropriate but at her age and considering she was surrounded by people she couldn’t trust (even her own mother) totally understandable.

     Ms. Goodwin has done a very good job of taking her study of Victoria’s reign and personal diaries and turning them into this bit of, what I assume is historical fiction.  I am a bit of an Anglophile myself so I was very interested in learning more about Queen Victoria and while I know this is fictionalized I still found it informational but also entertaining to read.  At first you might think that this is only a love story but it is much more.  Victoria is a story of a young woman growing and finding her voice and learning what is best not only for herself but for her country as well. 

4/5 stars
 
Author's site: www.daisygoodwin.co.uk
 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Stroked Hard by Meghan Quinn

 

Summary from Goodreads:

 
He’s hot. Like, stop breathing kind of hot with his killer body, vivid blue eyes, and constant five o’clock shadow.

Did I mention his body?

Watching Hollis Knightly, Olympic diving gold medalist, man-pony specialist—and cocky bastard—stand up on the diving platform in nothing but a small piece of Spandex? Yeah, I’m beguiled.
And easily seduced.

I want to keep things light but he won’t leave me alone. And hell, if he’s not wearing me thin.

What is supposed to be a simple summer fling with a very hot man, has now morphed into a f*cked-up mess of feelings, attachment, and dare I say it…love. But I don’t do relationships. And Hollis Knightly does.
 
 

 

My Thoughts:

     When Hollis Knightly, an Olympic gold medalist diver, first spots Melony working behind the scenes with his best friend Reese and his fake girlfriend, Bellini, he knows immediately that she is his future wife.  There is one problem. Melony has never had nor plans on ever being involved in a relationship.  Hollis likes a challenge though and proceeds to “woo” and annoy her at the same time to get Melony to realize that they are meant to be!
     Ah, Meghan Quinn! I simply cannot imagine what goes on inside her brain while she is writing-some of the things she comes up with!!??!! Just the plethora of out there and goofy nicknames that Hollis comes up with to annoy Melony with is enough to make this book worth reading but…there is so much more! I love how Meghan gives her characters not only great sassy personalities but also heart. 
     Hollis has what looks to be a charmed life but like everyone it is not without its’ heartaches and worries.  Melony’s life is the opposite but even though she has worked hard to better things for herself she still struggles and has fears.  This is what makes MQ’s books so great.  It’s not just sexy times, laughter and general goofiness, but also the heart and the tears.
     This is a great series if you are looking for great, fun romance with real, relatable characters.
4/5 stars
Book one in the series:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
Amazon link


Book two in the series:
 
      
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

                                                                          Amazon link

 

Author's links:

 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

October 2016 Reads

 
     Oh the places that books took me this month! London with Myron and Win. Rome with Avery.  Paris with Perdu and friends.  It was a pretty good month!
     I thought that October was a slightly less busy month and that I would get more reading done..oopsy! I only read seven books this month but there were some great ones and some new-to-me authors.  I did branch out a little thanks to joining the new Modern Mrs. Darcy book club so I cannot wait to see what I discover in the coming months with them.  We will see how the upcoming holiday season affects my reading but my November calendar is full of books-YAY!
 

Here is a round up of my October reads:

 
Home by Harlan Coben: I was so very excited for this release by one of my faves and it did not disappoint! See the full review here.
 
 


 
We're All Damaged by Matthew Norman: a funny and endearing look at heartbreak and family. Goodreads link




















Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci: Food, history, beautiful art and a great love story! Full review is here.



















Pucked Under by Helena Hunting: One of my favorite couples is back and in love but...ugh, life.  Click here for the full review.





















Commonwealth by Ann Patchett: I wasn't amazed by the story but the writing is done very well. Full review is here.




















The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole by Rebecca Adler: Book two in a new cozy mystery series.  My full review is here.




















The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George: I was so looking forward to this one but I was disappointed. Full review here.



Happy Halloween and here's to a November full of great reads!