Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book We Covet: The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 with
Why we covet this book: We recently learned about this book but we love the sound of it: a grand adventure kind of fantasy that promises to be action-packed and fast-paced. We also love that it is based on tales from the Arabian Nights.


book coverThe Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards
(released January 17, 2012)
Magic, Djinn, Ogres, and Sorcerers. Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings, long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan—a terrifying usurper who, even with his eyes closed, can see all.

When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must go to any lengths to rescue her. Along with her best friend, Ridhan—a silver-haired, violet-eyed boy of mysterious origins—and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all.

For more info about Jasmine and her book, visit her website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.


What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.



"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here.
It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be sure to come back on Thursday for a chance to WIN this book!

book cover Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: November 22, 2011
ISBN: 9780446571630

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Lucky Harbor #3
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Breaking rules and breaking hearts
Free-spirited Chloe lives life on the edge. Unlike her soon-to-be married sisters, she isn't ready to settle into a quiet life running their family's newly renovated inn. But soon her love of trouble--and trouble with love-draws the attention of the very stern, very sexy sheriff who'd like nothing better than to tame her wild ways.
Suddenly Chloe can't take a misstep without the sheriff hot on her heels. His rugged swagger and his enigmatic smile are enough to make a girl beg to be handcuffed. For the first time, instead of avoiding the law, Chloe dreams of surrender. Can this rebel find a way to keep the peace with the straitlaced sheriff? Or will Chloe's colorful past keep her from a love that lasts . . . and the safe haven she truly wants in a town called Lucky Harbor?


Michelle's Review:
Jill Shalvis is one of my favorite contemporary romance author, so I am always excited to read anything by her. She did not disappoint with Head Over Heels. However, I'd like to mention before anything else that I haven't read the first two books in the series--of course, you don't need to read them to enjoy this one. Head Over Heels can be read as a standalone. But I'm a firm believer that with series it's always a better reading experience if you read books in order because you know the characters and care about them in a different way.

Chloe was the youngest of three sisters (they have the same mom but different fathers). While Tara and Maddie were raised by their dads, Chloe lived a nomadic life with their mom. She's a free spirit, impulsive and liked to live on the edge. She's the opposite of Sawyer, who was the local sheriff of Lucky Harbor. There's always been this simmering chemistry between the two but they were at each others' throats a lot in the beginning and their banter created some great friction. It was fun watching them finally come together. Chloe, known as the "wild child," grew up throughout the book but stayed Chloe, which I really liked because she has a distinctive character. I didn't want her to lose that just because she grew up.

The author kept things light with humorous moments like the sexy/fun paint scene and the magic eight ball app scenes (my favorite scene was the one toward the end with all three sisters and their men each asking it questions), but there were sweet moments between Chloe and Sawyer too that made me go Awwww, like how he cared for her when she may get/gets an asthma attack (Chloe suffers from severe asthma).

Head Over Heels had the right mix of heartfelt romance and humor. I love the characters and the small town setting. Pick up the first book in the series, Simply Irresistible, and work your way to this book (I wish I did!)... or just pick this book up. You won't be disappointed!

Monday, November 28, 2011

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We apologize for the lack of posts last week but things just got really crazy, with school, Thanksgiving preparations and school (it's the end-of-semester chaos!). But soon it's going to winter break (YAY!) and you're going to be seeing more posts here. Anyway, I hope you're all having a great after-Thanksgiving Monday. Here's my review of If I Tell by Janet Gurtler:

book cover Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: October 1, 2011
ISBN: 9781402261039

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?


Michelle's Review:
I was really excited to read this book because the premise was interesting. Jasmine, or Jaz, saw her mother's boyfriend at a party one night kissing her best friend. Add to that the fact that her finding out that her mom is pregnant and, well, I was eager to see how everything will work out.

Most of the book dealt with Jaz's struggle with "the secret" and whether she should tell her mom or confront her mom's boyfriend about it. There was also Jaz feeling like an outsider because of being biracial and the incident that happened when she was younger with her classmates has made her distance herself from anyone at school. She was going through a lot and because of her insecurities, she sets herself apart from everyone. But she want an easy character to like. She had "poor-me" self-centered attitude and was very stubborn that most of the time I was irritated with her. But despite the fact that Jaz wasn't likable, her character felt authentic. She's a teenager who is struggling with a lot of things and how she acted and dealt with her problems was real. She does grow up in the book and was more likable towards the end.

The characters I liked were Jackson, who was the love interest, and Ashley. They were good friends to Jaz and part of my irritation with her was how she treated them but they were so patient with her. The romance between Jaz and Jackson was sweet. I liked that it wasn't a huge part of the book but it was there. Also, I haven't read any book where you sort of "see" a character suffer from postpartum depression (usually it's just briefly mentioned and glossed over). Jaz's mom's PPD was sad but it was interesting at the same time.

If I Tell was my first novel by Janet Gurtler and I thought her writing style was very readable and I got through this novel fairly quickly. The writing was clean and straightforward without the flowery language but the emotion was there. If you're looking for a realistic fiction read with themes of identity, family, friendship, being biracial, belonging and forgiveness, I suggest you give If I Tell a go.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hello fellow historical romance lovers! I am a little late posting this (I just don't know where my head went last week!). But we are kicking off the week with two author interviews and a GIVEAWAY!!

As part of Forever's Great Scots & Highland Heat Blog Tour, we are delighted to welcome author Amanda Scott--her newest release is Highland Hero. Read on for a chance to win a copy of this book (along with The Sinner by Margaret Mallory).

5 things that make you laugh out loud or make you happy.
1. Children of any variety

2. My 3-year-old grandson, in particular, striking a pose and saying, “Ta Da!”

3. My idiot cat, Willy Magee, who plays soccer with a Whiffle ball and will, if I ignore the ball rolled to me, will bring it and drop it on my feet as an invitation to play. His accuracy hitting it back is astonishing. If we ignore him altogether, he will roll it along the open pantry door, dive inside to “hide”, then reach under the door to bat the ball so it bounces against the side of the kitchen counter (about 3 feet away) and back to him to bat it again. He’s highly entertaining in other ways, too, except when he edits my work by walking across the keyboard (usually when I’ve left it for a minute or an hour).

4. Almost any anecdote my son tells. Many have made me laugh myself literally to tears.

5. As for making me happy, no laughter involved, nothing tops my tiny granddaughter making it through her first year when no one expected her to survive her first week.

4 frivolous things you cannot live without.
I’m too literal-minded to think in terms of “cannot live without,” but four things that I’d prefer not to have to get along without, and that others might deem frivolous, are 1) the aforementioned Willy Magee, who is a pedigreed orange-and-white Persian, 2) my kayak and the “dry” boots that go with it at the lake; 4) my Oscar de la Renta body lotion, and last but certainly not least, 5) my crazy husband who loves to take credit for getting me into all this.

3 places you want to see in Scotland with Marsi and Ivor.
This one stumps me, because I don’t think of my characters as traveling companions or lifelong friends. They become very real to me as I write but only because my mind is deep then in their space and time. However, I do my best to put them out of my head as soon as I finish their book, so that I don’t get them tangled into the next book’s cast of characters. I’m two books beyond Marsi and Ivor now, immersed in the “travels” of other characters in another place and time, not to mention a new trilogy.

2 things that Amanda and Ivor have in common.
Confidence in our own well-honed skills and practically zero tolerance for deceit.

1 favorite scene from HIGHLAND HERO.
It has to be the opening of Chapter 1 when Sir Ivor is dreaming of a perfect woman and suddenly discovers that he’s touching a real one—also Marsi’s reaction when she realizes that she has inadvertently gotten into bed with an unknown man. That first chapter of Highland Hero [Forever, Oct 2011] is posted on my website: www.amandascottauthor.com. If readers have questions or comments, they will also find a link there to my email, which is amandascott@att.net. I love to hear from readers, have learned a great deal from them, and I answer all messages.


*****
A big thanks to Amanda for stopping by our blog today and for the fun answers to our questions. To learn more about Amanda's books, check out her website. Highland Hero is already out in stores so don't forget to pick it up! Here's the blurb:

book cover
LADY IN DISGUISE
Lady Marsi Cargill refuses to marry a man who wants her land rather than her love. To escape her arranged betrothal, she disguises her noble lineage and accompanies her young cousin--the future King of Scots--on a secret journey across the Highlands. Their guide is a mysterious knight known only as Hawk. Heat flares between the beautiful maid and the brooding warrior, but when Marsi's true identity is revealed, Hawk's desire gives way to fury...

KNIGHT AT THE READY
Summoned by the King to guard his son, Sir Ivor "Hawk" Mackintosh now has two royals to protect. This daring, willful woman has invaded Hawk's every thought, and laid siege to his heart. Soon the solitary soldier is yearning for a life with Marsi at his side and in his bed. But as their passion grows, so too does the danger surrounding them. Powerful enemies watch their every move, and to survive, Hawk and Marsi must fight for Scotland's future-as well as their own new-found love.
Want to read Highland Hero? Well, try your luck here and enter to win
both this book as well as The Sinner by Margaret Mallory for a Scottish romance twofer!

As part of Forever's Great Scots & Highland Heat Tour, two lucky readers will each win a copy of each of book. Click HERE (or the button below) to take you to Margaret Mallory's Q&A where you enter to win!

Don't forget to let us know what you thought of the interview or your thoughts about Highland Hero (the blurb, the cover, etc.) for an extra entry in the giveaway!
Hello fellow historical romance lovers! I am a little late posting this (I just don't know where my head went last week!). But we are kicking off the week with two author interviews and a GIVEAWAY!! Read on for a chance to win a copy of this book (along with Highland Hero by Amanda Scott).

As part of Forever's Great Scots & Highland Heat Blog Tour, we are delighted to welcome back author Margaret Mallory--her newest release is The Sinner, the second book in her Return of the Highlanders series (see my review of The Guardian, the first book).

5 things that make you laugh out loud or make you happy.
My goofy dog, Lucy, makes me laugh all the time.
My family, chocolate, reading, and watching good movies make me happy.

4 frivolous things you cannot live without.
You’ll have to ask my husband! He thinks I clutter the house with hoards of frivolous junk, but I assure you that none of it is frivolous. ;) You may not want to get in the middle of this argument…

3 places you want to see in Scotland with Alex and Glynis.
I was lucky to be able to take a trip to Scotland and visit many of the places that are in THE SINNER and the other books in THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS. I only saw Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh from the outside, and I didn’t make it to the islands of North Uist and Barra. THE SINNER has important scenes at all three places, so I would love to visit them with Alex. Just me and Alex. OK, maybe I’d let Glynis come along.

2 things that Margaret and Alex have in common.
We are storytellers.
We love to laugh.

1 favorite scene from THE SINNER.
One of the scenes I like is when Glynis is attempting to persuade (blackmail?) Alex into taking her with him to Edinburgh. They are at a gathering in the Maclean chieftain’s castle. Here’s just a bit from the scene:
“Take me, Alexander Bàn MacDonald,” she said, her gray eyes turning to hard flint. “Or I’ll go tell the Maclean chieftain right now that I saw ye swiving his wife.”

“That wasn’t what it looked like!” Alex was so used to having committed whatever offense he was accused of that he hardly knew how to defend himself. “My clan needs ties to the Campbells, so I couldn’t offend her.”

“Ye sacrificed yourself for the sake of your clan, did ye?”

“I didn’t do what ye think,” Alex protested. “Though it wasn’t easy, mind ye.”

Judging from the grim line of her mouth, Glynis was not impressed with his forbearance.

“Catherine is close to her brothers,” he explained. “If you’ve forgotten, they are the Earl of Argyll and the Thane of Cawdor, so I had to be verra careful about how I told her nay.”

“It looked like ‘aye’ to me—your being naked and all.”

Ach, she was full of sarcasm tonight. Glynis took a step closer and tapped her finger against his chest. Despite the anger in her eyes, the point of her finger sent heat radiating through his body.

“How about I tell Shaggy Maclean what I saw and let him sort it out?” she asked.

*****
A big thanks to Margaret for dropping by our blog today and for the fun answers to our questions. To learn more about Margaret's books and read excerpts, check out her website. You can also chat with her on Twitter and Facebook. The Sinner is already out in stores so don't forget to pick it up! Here's the blurb:

book cover
THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS: BOOK 2
Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.

IRRESISTIBLE DESIRE

Alex MacDonald is known for his skill as a warrior, his prowess with women, and his vow to never take a wife. But now his chieftain has asked him to make the ultimate sacrifice: wed Glynis MacNeil, a lass famed throughout the Highlands for her exquisite beauty-and defiant ways.

Familiar with heartbreak, Glynis refuses to fall for another handsome scoundrel. Yet when Alex's past sins force an unlikely union, Glynis gives in to temptation and becomes his wife. Will their newfound passion be strong enough to fight the enemy that threatens their home, their clan, and their very lives?
Want to get your hands on The Sinner? Well, try your luck here!
As part of Forever's Great Scots & Highland Heat Tour, two (2) winners will win both this book as well as Highland Hero by Amanda Scott for a Scottish romance twofer.


Fill out the form to enter:

IMPORTANT: See our "Giveaway Policy" for complete rules and disclaimers. By entering the giveaway, you agree to the terms stated on that page. Thank you for entering and good luck!

Don't forget to let us know what you thought of the interview or your thoughts about The Sinner (the blurb, the cover, etc.) for an extra entry in the giveaway!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why Michelle covets this book: I really enjoyed Diana's Killer Unicorn series and I am eager to read more by her. Also, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a sci-fi fantasy inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion--how awesome is that?!


book coverFor Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
(released June 12, 2012)
Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

For more info about Lauren's other books, visit her website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.


What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.



"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here.
It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

book cover ARC: 318 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: November 1, 2011
ISBN: 9780062009708

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Dark Eden #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains... What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?
Patrick Carman's Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.


Michelle's Review:
I was initially interested in reading Dark Eden because it was a "boy book." Most of the young adult novels I read are girl-themed (a female main protagonist, strong romantic theme, etc.) so this book was a different read for me.

Basically, the story was about seven teens suffering from crippling phobias. They were sent to Dark Eden, an isolated facility ran by man named Rainsford who was the only one who can cure them through immersion therapy. One of the boys, Will, ended being separated from the group because of his phobia and ended up hiding out in a room where he got to watch the others get "cured" by Rainsford. But Will started to realize that there's something more sinister going on beneath the surface.

I really liked how dark the atmosphere of this book was--in my mind's eye I saw a lot of eerie shadows, dark hallways, dank corners and mad scientist contraptions when I was reading the novel. I also liked that each of the teens' phobia was not revealed right away, especially Will's. Until his phobia was made known, I didn't truly understand his actions but when we finally learn his fear, things started to come together. I thought the first half did drag a little and I wasn't sure where the author was going to take the story but the second half had me riveted. There were a lot of twists in this book and it's not until the very end that everything will make sense but the big reveal was really good.

Dark Eden is a transmedia novel and that means there is an app you can download that includes images, audio, video and others that go with the novel. I downloaded the first chapter of the app because they were offering it for free. I wasn't able to get the full experience since I only downloaded the first chapter of the app but it was interesting--it was sort of like "DVD extras" to go with your book if that makes any sense.

In short, Dark Eden was an interesting read. I enjoyed the mysterious setting, the twists and how everything came together in the end. Dark Eden was a wonderful start to the series. I am definitely interested in reading the next book.

Monday, November 14, 2011

book cover ARC: 261 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: October 17, 2011
ISBN: 9780316097390

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
The tree is decorated, the cookies are baked, and the packages are wrapped, but the biggest celebration this Christmas is Gaby Summerhill's wedding. Since her husband died five years ago, Gaby's children have drifted apart, each one preoccupied by the turbulence in their own lives. They haven't celebrated Christmas together since their father's death, but when Gaby announces that she's getting married-and that the groom will remain a secret until the wedding day—she may finally be able to bring them home for the holidays.
But the wedding isn't Gaby's only surprise—she has one more gift for her children, and it could change all their lives forever. With deeply affecting characters and the emotional twists of a James Patterson thriller, THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING is a fresh look at family and the magic of the season.


Michelle's Review:
James Patterson is on my list of authors to read so when I was given the chance to review his newest novel The Christmas Wedding I jumped at the chance. The plot line is interesting too, about a woman, Gaby, who has been widowed for 5 years and her grown children have drifted apart. When three different men proposed to Gaby, she decided to have a Christmas wedding and invited all her children. The surprise was that she won't reveal the name of the groom until the wedding day.

The Christmas Wedding was a quick read for me. For most of the book, the chapters alternate in third-person perspective between Gaby and her children. We see little snippets of what was going on in their lives and their problems. Then, on the last third of the book, it shifts to Gaby's first-person perspective. I am not sure how I feel about the changing in the perspective. I didn't particularly enjoy Gaby's voice--her character seemed too perfect as well and I didn't find her particularly likable. I would've preferred it to be in third-person all the way through--the last third didn't grab me as much as when the story was focused more on her children. I wished their stories weren't so rushed and were more developed.

As for Gaby not revealing who she'll marry, I thought there was going to be a twist in the end where she doesn't pick after all for whatever reason but she did pick one of the men. I wasn't able to figure out which of the men she picked in the end. All in all, it was an okay read. This one is more family focused than romantic. If you're looking a light, don't-have-to-think-hard, feel-good read for the holidays pick up The Christmas Wedding.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why Michelle covets this book: The two books I've read by Lauren Barnholdt I've liked (especially Two-Way Street) and I enjoy reading this particular plotline. Not a fan of the girl on the cover though.


book coverThe Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt
(released July 10, 2012)
Sixteen-year-old Kelsey Romano has always been one of the most popular girls at Concordia Prep. But after a disastrous breakup and her subsequent meltdown (um, destruction of school property, anyone?) she's kicked out of Con Prep and shipped off to Concordia High School, for good.

Seventeen-year-old Isaac Brandano has been kicked out of more prep schools than he can name. But now that his father's State Senate campaign is pushing a public school agenda, Isaac finds himself enrolled at Concordia High.

Kelsey and Isaac are destined to hate each other. And at first, they do. But when they are forced together on the creation of a new school club, sparks begin to fly. Then the club's critical event turns into chaos. Now Kelsey and Isaac must retrace their steps and figure out how and why everything got so got screwed up, who was to blame, and how they can move forward.

This new novel from fan-favorite Lauren Barnholdt showcases--through a sweet and sparkly narrative--how the last person you expect might just be the one who changes your life forever.

For more info about Lauren's other books, visit her website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.


What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.



"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here.
It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

book cover Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkeley Trade
Release Date: November 1, 2011
ISBN: 9780425243213

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Inn Boonsboro Trilogy #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
The launch of a new Nora Roberts romance series always raised pulse-raising possibilities, but the first of her Inn Boonsboro trilogy is a pleasure onto itself. At its center are Beckett Montgomery, an architect with ambitious plans and a longstanding crush, and Clare Brewster, a young widow bookstore owner who has returned to her hometown. Roberts places readers inside the crosscurrents of small-town America, showing us how relationships evolve and hit speed bumps.


Michelle's Review:
I'm a huge fan of Nora Roberts but it's been a while since I've read her newer stuff so I was really excited to read The Next Always. The fact that it was a second-chance-at-love (the hero has had a crush on the heroine since they were in high school) was a plus.

The Next Always wasn't what I initially expected. First of all, I didn't know that the heroine, Clare, was a young widow until I read the synopsis on the back of the ARC. I usually stay from widowed heroines, especially ones with children and ones who had a great marriage before they lost their husband--both of which Clare was: she was a military wife who lost her husband in Iraq and now she is a busy single mother with three young boys. This is just me and my preferences, but I find I am not able to relate to widowed heroines as much I am able to with a single heroine who finds her one true love because that's who I am (single) and that's what I want to find. The fact that she was a widow/single mom was a factor on my overall impression (albeit a personal one) of the novel but when I started reading the story it wasn't a big deal. I liked Clare right away (the way she juggles owning/running a bookstore and being a single mom to a 5-, 7- and 8-year old while still having time for friends and a bookclub was amazing). Her three sons were so cute and they acted the way little boys should act.

Beckett was very likable as well. Who doesn't love a nice yet hot and sexy carpenter? But his character didn't really stand out for me in comparison to Nora's other heroes and he was almost too nice and too perfect. He and Clare were very cute together together but unfortunately I thought the romance was lukewarm at best. My favorite scenes were ones with Beckett and Clare's boys which was fun to read.

The trilogy follows the Montgomery brothers as they restored an old building in town into a bed and breakfast. I thought the descriptions of the interior design of the different guest rooms of the inn went on a little too long. I am not into interior design so I wasn't able to quite "see" when they were describing the place and I thought all those descriptions dragged the story some. With the inn being really old, there was a resident [friendly] ghost and I liked that touch of paranormal.

Overall, this novel was delightful--reading a Nora Roberts novels is like comfort food and this was no exception. If you're looking for a book you can relax with on a nice weekend afternoon The Next Always is it. I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy, especially Ryder's (it was hinted who his heroine might be and I think their story will be a fun one).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Q&A with author Lilli Feisty & GIVEAWAY

Monday, November 7, 2011 with
Hello fellow romance lovers! We are delighted to welcome author Lilli Feisty--her newest release is spicy-hot read Deliciously Sinful. Read on for a chance to win a copy of Deliciously Sinful (along with Too Wicked to Wed by Cara Elliot).

5 songs in the Deliciously Sinful soundtrack.
1) Banquet, Bloc Party
2) I Love My Sex, Bennie Benassi
3) Ghostwriter, RJD2
4) Je Veux Te Voir, Yelle
5) My Dick, Mickey Avalon

4 fascinating facts about Phoebe Mayle.
1) Phoebe is passionate about the survival of bees.
2) She can change her own oil.
3) She once got in a bar-fight. And won.
4) In college, she minored in Art History.
5) She has a very healthy sex drive. ☺

3 fascinating facts about Phoebe's new bad-boy chef Nick Avalon.
1) He is has an amazing palate for good tequila.
2) He has a big tattoo across his chest.
3) He has an attitude that often gets him into trouble.

2 things you must have while writing (besides the essentials).
1) Music!
2) Tea.

1 favorite scene from Deliciously Sinful.
Well I don’t want to give anything away, but I love the scene where Nick gets into it with Phoebe’s high-school sweetheart. There’s just something sexy about two hot guys getting all alpha because they both care about the same woman.

*****
A big thanks to Lilli for stopping by our blog today and for the fun answers to our questions. To learn more about Lilli's books, check out her website, Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Deliciously Sinful is already out in stores so don't forget to pick it up! Here's the blurb:

book cover
Things are cooking in the kitchen...and the bedroom.

Restaurant owner Phoebe Mayle thought she had it all under control. Sure, her new chef has a bad-boy reputation - and a chiseled body to match - but she's positive she can whip him into shape.

But from the moment Nick Avalon roars into town in his Hummer, he makes her whole world sizzle. Now Phoebe has lost control of her kitchen, and Nick has taken over her mind and her body. His insatiable appetite for pleasure leaves her breathless with carnal cravings only he can satisfy. Yet can their hunger for each other be a recipe for a love that lasts?
Doesn't that just sound like a spicy read that will keep you warm in the fall? Well, try your luck here and enter to win
both Deliciously Sinful and Cara Elliot's Too Wicked to Wed. As part of Forever's Turning of the Heat Tour, two lucky readers will each win a copy of each of book. Click HERE (or the button below) to take you to Cara Elliot's Q&A where you will find the form to enter to win!

Don't forget to let us know what you thought of the interview or your thoughts about Deliciously Sinful (the blurb, the cover, etc.) for +2 extra entries in the giveaway!
Hello fellow historical romance lovers! We are delighted to welcome back author Cara Elliot--her newest release is Too Wicked to Wed (the first book in her new Lords of Midnight trilogy). Read on for a chance to win a copy of Too Wicked to Wed (along with Deliciously Sinful by Lilli Feisty--look for the Q&A with Lilli later today).

5 random facts about Cara Elliott.
I love LIndt dark chocolate with sea salt. I have a master’s degree in Graphic Design. One of my favorite places to visit is the Portobello Road antique market in London. I took a few fencing classes in college. I spent a summer touring around Europe on a motorcycle.

4 reasons why Lady Alexa Bingham was not your typical lady.
She’s bold, intrepid, courageous, unafraid to break the rules, and willing to risk everything for love.

3 things that earned Connor Linsley, Earl of Killingworth his rakehell reputation.
He’s dangerous, mysterious, and devilishly handsome.

2 things you must have while writing (besides the essentials).
Coffee with light cream. The teddy bear my grandmother gave me for my fifth birthday.

1 favorite scene from Too Wicked to Wed.
The opening prologue, where Alexa first meets the mysterious “Irish Wolfhound”. It takes place in a... well, I’ll let readers discover that on their own! (You can read the excerpt on my website: www.caraelliott.com.)

Check out the synopsis for Too Wicked to Wed if you haven't already:

book cover
Outspoken and independent, Lady Alexa Hendrie is happiest in the quiet of the country, where she is free to run her family’s estate as she chooses. But when her brother’s recklessness forces her to London, a chance encounter with the ton’s most wicked rake—and his searing kiss—awaken a longing for adventure.

A man of many secrets, Connor Linsley, the Earl of Killingworth, uses his rakehell reputation to hide the fact that poverty has forced him to work for a living. As the owner of a gambling den and brothel, Connor has no time for glittering ballrooms or innocent young ladies. But after a daring masquerade by Alexa leads to her winning half of his business, he is forced to take a risky gamble . . .

Will the cards fall in their favor?

Alexa and Connor begin to play a dangerous game of intrigue, deception, and desire. Consumed by a passion beyond their wildest imaginings, they must risk all they hold dear for a chance at love. But can they escape the danger that pursues them? Or will their own fiery attraction be their ultimate undoing?
Don't that sound like a fantastic historical romance read? A big thanks to Cara for stopping by our blog today and for answering our questions. To learn more about Cara's books and read excerpts, check out her website, Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Too Wicked to Wed is already out in stores but as part of the
and thanks to
Hachette, two lucky winners each win a copy of Too Wicked AND Deliciously Sinful by Lilli Feisty.

Giveaway Details:
  • Two (2) winners will win Too Wicked to Wed by Cara Elliot AND Deliciously Sinful by Lilli Feisty
  • Gain +2 extra entries by commenting on this post and +2 extra entries by commenting on Lilli's interview post (for a total of +4 extra entries!)
  • Ends November 18, 2011
  • US or Canadian mailing address only (No P.O. boxes)
  • Fill out the form to enter:

Click HERE if you cannot see the form above.


IMPORTANT: See our "Giveaway Policy" for complete rules and disclaimers. By entering the giveaway, you agree to the terms stated on that page. Thank you for entering and good luck!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In Our Mailbox (49)

Sunday, November 6, 2011 with
Another awesome week for us book-wise [school-wise... well that's another story: essays--'nuff said].

Books Leslie got back home
Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore (book we got using our Random Buzzers buzz bucks)
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (review book from LBYR)
(Thank you to LBYR and Random Buzzers!)

And, by the way, if you guys haven't joined Random Buzzers yet you totally should--they have weekly book giveaways, chat with authors and earn buzz bucks you can use to "buy" more books!


From Awesome Book Peeps
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck (October RAK from the lovely LiLi of ChicaReader)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone tattoos from the Laini Taylor tour (from Edna)
(Thank you both!)

Michelle's Books
Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard (unsolicited review book from Pocket)
Highland Hero by Amanda Scott (review book from Forever)
The Sinner by Margaret Mallory (review book from Forever)
(Thank you to Forever and Pocket!)


What did you guys get in your mailbox?

inourmailbox
"In My Mailbox" is a weekly event that gives book bloggers a chance share with each other what books got added to their to-be-read pile for the week. It was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Michelle Covets: Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 with
Why Michelle covets this book: Take a Bow sounds like my kind of book. As some of you may know, my YA genre of choice is romantic contemporary titles of the Anna and the French Kiss or The Duff variety. Also, I've read and enjoyed Elizabeth Eulberg's previous novel, Prom & Prejudice (modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice) so I expect I'll like this novel as well.


article 5Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
(released April 1, 2012)
From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.

For more info about Take a Bow, visit the author's website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.


What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.



"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here.
It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!