Monthly Archives: June 2017

On The Plus Side

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: ON THE PLUS SIDE

Author: Alison Bliss

Series: A Perfect Fit, #2

On Sale: June 27, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

Audio: $22.98

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Description: Big girls don’t cry. They go after what they want.

Thanks to her bangin’ curves, Valerie Carmichael has always turned heads-with the exception of seriously sexy Logan Mathis. Just Valerie’s luck that the object of her lust-filled affection is also best friends with her overprotective brother. But Valerie’s determined to get Logan’s attention…even if it means telling a teeny little lie to get a job at his new bar.

Logan can’t remember a time when Valerie didn’t secretly fuel all his hottest fantasies. Now the curvaceous she-devil is working behind his bar, tempting him every damn night. It’s only when he finds Valerie’s naughty things-to-do list that Logan decides to break every rule in the book-by making each red-hot deed a reality.

No one warned them that they were going to fall this hard. And no one warned them that sometimes the smallest secrets can have the biggest consequences.

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A Perfect Fit

A PERFECT FIT SERIES

SIZE MATTERS, #1

ON THE PLUS SIDE, #2

MORE TO LOVE, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alison Bliss grew up in Small Town, Texas, but currently resides in the Midwest with her husband and two sons. With so much testosterone in her home, it’s no wonder she writes “girl books.” She believes the best way to know if someone is your soul mate is by canoeing with them because if you both make it back alive, it’s obviously meant to be. Alison pens the type of books she loves to read most: fun, steamy love stories with heart, heat, laughter, and usually a cowboy or two. As she calls it, “Romance…with a sense of humor.”

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Excerpt: 

Valerie Carmichael needed a drink. A strong one. Because it was the only way she envisioned herself getting through the night.

An elbow nudged into her side, bringing her thoughts back to the crowded bar. “I can’t see anything through all of these people,” Brett said, scanning the room with his eyes. “Come on, let’s go to the other side so I can get a better view.”

Sighing, Valerie trudged behind him without a word.

When Brett had asked her to attend the grand opening of Bottoms Up, a new bar in their hometown of Granite, Texas, she’d hesitated to say yes. Sure, she was curious what the inside of the recently remodeled bar looked like and had no doubt the place would be jam-packed with handsome, available men. But it was still the last place on earth she wanted to be.

She knew better than to hang out in bars with her older and only—thank God—brother. Every time she’d done so in the past, the nights had always ended the same way. Brett would spend the entire evening hovering over her like a rabid pit bull, daring any single guy with a glint in his eye to look her way. Because Valerie turned heads. She always had.

Oh, she wasn’t silly enough to believe she looked like some gorgeous supermodel with a lean, trim figure or anything. She definitely didn’t. But she had a pretty face, banging plus-size curves, and a lively personality. And that was good enough for her. Valerie was just…Valerie. And damn proud of it.

Across the room, Sam and Leah emerged from the dense crowd, with a beer bottle for him and a glass of water for her. Apparently, Leah was still on that damn diet and counting calories so she would fit into her wedding dress. Though why she didn’t just buy the dress in a larger size was beyond Valerie.

Leah blinked at the sight of her. “Val? What are you doing here? You said you weren’t coming.”

Valerie shrugged. “I changed my mind.”

“Are you feeling okay?”

“Yeah, sure. Why?”

“When you said you didn’t want to go out, I assumed you were sick. You never turn down a night out.” Leah placed her palm lightly against Valerie’s forehead. “You sure you don’t have the flu or something?”

Valerie laughed and pushed her friend’s hand away. “Oh, stop it. I just didn’t feel like getting dressed up. I’m getting tired of the whole bar scene.”

Then Valerie’s heart stopped, along with her lips. Oh God.

Brett stood there talking to a tall, dark-haired man who had one thumb hooked in the front pocket of his jeans while he leaned comfortably against the wall with his right shoulder. She couldn’t see the other guy’s face, but she didn’t need to. Valerie recognized all six feet, two inches of him. Logan Mathis.

 

Review: 

I adored this book! Valerie was such a confident and bubbly heroine. Even when she was messing up, she was a joy to read! Logan, the hero and her brother’s best friend, was a strong character who was unable to fight his attraction to the off-limits Valerie. Honestly, the only thing I didn’t like about this book was how overprotective her brother was of the adult Valerie. Everything else in the book made for a fun and enjoyable read!

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Silver Silence

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh 

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Description: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her extraordinary Psy-Changeling world with a story of wild passion and darkest betrayal…

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence–her mind clear of all emotion–Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

Review originally posted at Alpha Book Club.

Review: 

To be honest, I read this book twice before writing my review. The first time I read it was solely for my own enjoyment. I absolutely adore everything Nalini Singh has ever written and this book is no exception! Silver Silence made me both chuckle and cry, and

Me with Nalini Singh when I was lucky enough to meet her in 2015.

by cry, I mean ugly sob for the second part of the book. I was afraid I was dehydrated by the time I finished this book. It was all I could have wanted for Silver’s book. Okay, enough gushing and on to the review!

Silver Mercant was introduced in the first half of the Psy-Changeling series. She was Kaleb Krychek’s personal assistant and her family is a Psy shadow power. In the later books, she heads up the EmNet which is a worldwide emergency response system. Needless to say, Silver’s a complete badass and alpha heroine! She needs a hero who can both appreciate her badassness and break through the shield of Silence surrounding her. Luckily the readers, Nalini Singh had the perfect hero up her sleeve. Valentin Nikolaev, the alpha of the StoneWater Bears. Yup, bears! Singh has moved away from her usual leopards and wolves to bring us to a new pack of bears! And the bears are freaking awesome. Like the SnowDancer wolves, the bears reside in the same housing complex, this time a cave. Silver is introduced to the world of the bears after being poisoned and needing a secure place to reside. Luckily for her, Valentin had his eye on Silver for a while now and was more than willing to offer her safe haven.

While a majority of the book focused on Silver and Valentin, Singh continued introduce the arc of the new series, Psy-Changeling Trinity, of which Silver Silence is the first book. Unlike her previous books, i.e. Slave to Sensation, Kiss of Snow, etc, these books have two word titles, singling the start of the new storyline. Silence and the Psy Council fell in the previous books and now a new world order is developing, complete with a new unknown villain. One of the storytelling techniques Singh excels at is keeping the reader engaged throughout a long series. While each of her books is standalone, apart from Allegiance of Honor, there is an overall storyline which ties them together. Silver Silence continues that new storyline as the stability of this new world is threaten by fringe groups as well as the Architect. I have my guess about how the Architect is but I have feeling we won’t find out for a while, especially considering how long it took us to find out who the Ghost was in the previous series.

As much as I admire Singh’s world shaping, my favorite part of this book is the relationship between Silver and Valentin. In this series, we’ve seen many examples of Pys’s breaking their Silence and forming relationships. However, Silver presented a new twist to this familiar story. She quickly gives in to Valentin’s playful seduction but her Silence is still necessary. She has a very different reason for needing to suppress her emotions and when she has to make that choice, my heart broke. Without spoilers, the depth of their relationship is severely tested and how Valentin deals with it shots him up to the top of my all-time favorite heroes list. He is so passionate and loving of Silver even when facing something which surely means his own heartbreak. I honestly have no words for the emotions I experienced reading their love story. It was just so beautiful.

I’m sure I’ve gushed enough over this book by now but I’d just like to throw out a few more things. There was a myriad of nicknames within this book, which some characters like Valentin having as many as four. While initially confusing, it actually proved to be very sweet once you realized they symbolized a special connection. I’m also hoping for a MM romance for Nalini Singh. There were hints of it in this book and maybe if we all wish hard enough, Nalini Singh will give us a novella with Silver’s brother, Arwen and Pavel, Valentin’s lieutenant. I want to end this review with saying that everyone should read this book!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! 

    

Review Copy of Silver Silence provided by Nalini Singh for an honest review.

 

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RAGT 2017

To end my crazy literary adventures, I took a quick and impromptu trip to Cincinnati. May kicked off with my first Romantic Times Convention down in Atlanta. In the beginning of June, I attended a Feminism in Romance Novels panel at The Strand and then BookCon at the end of the week. During this time I learned about Lori Foster’s annual Reader and Author Get Together, or RAGT. More importantly, I learned that both J.R. Ward and Karen Marie Moning would be signing books on Saturday, June 10th. So like any other normal romance fan, I booked a flight to Cincinnati. Luckily, my mom encouraged this madness and even attended with me! We arrived on Friday and spent the day exploring the city before heading to the book-signing on Saturday. And boy did we have a blast! RAGT, for the little we attended, was an awesome event and totally on my list for next year! I had a great time hanging out in line for J.R. Ward and Karen Marie Moning and chatting with the guests! I brought books for both authors to sign. I also got books signed for the people who introduced me to both authors. One of my best friends has always given me the best romance novel recommendations and she, many years ago, insisted that I would loved Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series and she was totally right! When I was first reading vampire romance, back in my *hides face* Twilight days, I had read Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. However, I couldn’t get into the series back then, probably because I was a bit too young. When I started working at Barnes and Noble a few years ago, one of my coworkers recommended the Black Dagger Brotherhood and I tried them out again. Of course, I loved them. So I had to get a book signed for her as well. I truly had an amazing time and feel so blessed to meet such amazing authors. Every experience I’ve had in the romance novel community has been positive and I’m so grateful for such a supportive and lovely group of people. Okay, gushing done, time for pictures!

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Girl with the Make-Believe Husband

When the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

 

THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND
Rokesbys #2
Julia Quinn
Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon Books

 

While you were sleeping…
With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He’s unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier’s life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie…
 
I told everyone I was your wife
When Edward comes to, he’s more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he’d always assumed he’d marry his neighbor back in England.
 
If only it were true…
Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.
 
Julia Quinn is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.


 

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Excerpt

Manhattan Island

July 1779

 

His head hurt.

Correction, his head really hurt.

It was hard to tell, though, just what sort of pain it was. He might have been shot through the head with a musket ball. That seemed plausible, given his current location in New York (or was it Connecticut?) and his current occupation as a captain in His Majesty’s army.

There was a war going on, in case one hadn’t noticed.

But this particular pounding—the one that felt more like someone was bashing his skull with a cannon (not a cannonball, mind you, but an actual cannon) seemed to indicate that he had been attacked with a blunter instrument than a bullet.

An anvil, perhaps. Dropped from a second-story window.

But if one cared to look on the bright side, a pain such as this did seem to indicate that he wasn’t dead, which was also a plausible fate, given all the same facts that had led him to believe he might have been shot.

That war he’d mentioned… people did die.

With alarming regularity.

So he wasn’t dead. That was good. But he also wasn’t sure where he was, precisely. The obvious next step would be to open his eyes, but his eyelids were translucent enough for him to realize that it was the middle of the day, and while he did like to look on the metaphorical bright side, he was fairly certain that the literal one would prove blinding.

So he kept his eyes closed.

But he listened.

He wasn’t alone. He couldn’t make out any actual conversation, but a low buzz of words and activity filtered through the air. People were moving about, setting objects on tables, maybe pulling a chair across the floor.

Someone was moaning in pain.

Most of the voices were male, but there was at least one lady nearby. She was close enough that he could hear her breathing. She made little noises as she went about her business, which he soon realized included tucking blankets around him and touching his forehead with the back of her hand.

He liked these little noises, the tiny little mmms and sighs she probably had no idea she was making. And she smelled nice, a bit like lemons, a bit like soap.

And a bit like hard work.

He knew that smell. He’d worn it himself, albeit usually only briefly until it turned into a full-fledged stink.

On her, though, it was more than pleasant. Perhaps a little earthy. And he wondered who she was, to be tending to him so diligently.

“How is he today?”

Edward held himself still. This male voice was new, and he wasn’t sure he wanted anyone to know he was awake yet.

Although he wasn’t sure why he felt this hesitancy.

“The same,” came the woman’s reply.

“I am concerned. If he doesn’t wake up soon…”

“I know,” the woman said. There was a touch of irritation in her voice, which Edward found curious.

“Have you been able to get him to take broth?”

“Just a few spoonfuls. I was afraid he would choke if I attempted any more than that.”

The man made a vague noise of approval. “Remind me how long he has been like this?”

“A week, sir. Four days before I arrived, and three since.”

A week. Edward thought about this. A week meant it must be… March? April?

No, maybe it was only February. And this was probably New York, not Connecticut.

But that still didn’t explain why his head hurt so bloody much. Clearly he’d been in some sort of an accident. Or had he been attacked?

“There has been no change at all?” the man asked, even though the lady had just said as much.

But she must have had far more patience than Edward, because she replied in a quiet, clear voice, “No, sir. None.”

The man made a noise that wasn’t quite a grunt. Edward found it impossible to interpret.

“Er…” The woman cleared her throat. “Have you any news of my brother?”

Her brother? Who was her brother?

“I am afraid not, Mrs. Rokesby.”

Mrs. Rokesby?

            “It has been nearly two months,” she said quietly.

Mrs. Rokesby? Edward really wanted them to get back to that point. There was only one Rokesby in North America as far as he knew, and that was him. So if she was Mrs. Rokesby…

“I think,” the male voice said, “that your energies would be better spent tending to your husband.”

Husband?

“I assure you,” she said, and there was that touch of irritation again, “that I have been caring for him most faithfully.”

Husband? They were calling him her husband? Was he married? He couldn’t be married. How could he be married and not remember it?

            Who was this woman?

Edward’s heart began to pound. What the devil was happening to him?

“Did he just make a noise?” the man asked.

“I… I don’t think so.”

She moved then, quickly. Hands touched him, his cheek, then his chest, and even through her obvious concern, there was something soothing in her motions, something undeniably right.

“Edward?” she asked, taking his hand. She stroked it several times, her fingers brushing lightly over his skin. “Can you hear me?”

He ought to respond. She was worried. What kind of gentleman did not act to relieve a lady’s distress?

“I fear he may be lost to us,” the man said, with far less gentleness than Edward thought appropriate.

“He still breathes,” the woman said in a steely voice.

The man said nothing, but his expression must have been one of pity, because she said it again, more loudly this time.

He still breathes.”

“Mrs. Rokesby…”

Edward felt her hand tighten around his. Then she placed her other on top, her fingers resting lightly on his knuckles. It was the smallest sort of embrace, but Edward felt it down to his soul.

“He still breathes, Colonel,” she said with quiet resolve. “And while he does, I will be here. I may not be able to help Thomas, but—”

Thomas. Thomas Harcourt. That was the connection. This must be his sister. Cecilia. He knew her well.

Or not. He’d never actually met the lady, he felt like he knew her. She wrote to her brother with a diligence that was unmatched in the regiment. Thomas received twice as much mail as Edward, and Edward had four siblings to Thomas’s one.

Cecilia Harcourt. What on earth was she doing in North America? She was supposed to be in Derbyshire, in that little town Thomas had been so eager to leave. The one with the hot springs. Matlock. No, Matlock Bath.

Edward had never been, but he thought it sounded charming. Not the way Thomas described it, of course; he liked the bustle of city life and couldn’t wait to take a commission and depart his village. But Cecilia was different. In her letters, the small Derbyshire town came alive, and Edward almost felt that he would recognize her neighbors if he ever went to visit.

She was witty. Lord, she was witty. Thomas used to laugh so much at her missives that Edward finally made him read them out loud.

Then one day, when Thomas was penning his response, Edward interrupted so many times that Thomas finally shoved out his chair and held forth his quill.

“You write to her,” he’d said.

So he did.

Not on his own, of course. Edward could never have written to her directly. It would have been the worst sort of impropriety, and he would not have insulted her in such a manner. But he took to scribbling a few lines at the end of Thomas’s letters, and whenever she replied, she had a few lines for him.

Thomas carried a miniature of her, and even though he said it was several years old, Edward had found himself staring at it, studying the small portrait of the young woman, wondering if her hair really was that remarkable golden color, or if she really did smile that way, lips closed and mysterious.

Somehow he thought not. She did not strike him as a woman with secrets. Her smile would be sunny and free. Edward had even thought he’d like to meet her once this godforsaken war was over. He’d never said anything to Thomas, though.

That would have been strange.

Now Cecilia was here. In the colonies. Which made absolutely no sense, but then again, what did? Edward’s head was injured, and Thomas seemed to be missing, and…

Edward thought hard.

…and he seemed to have married Cecilia Harcourt.

He opened his eyes and tried to focus on the green-eyed woman peering down at him.

“Cecilia?”

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Review: 

In her first story outside of England, Julia Quinn takes the reader to Revolutionary New York. Without getting too bogged down in the conflict, she presents her hero, Edward as a British officer who lost his memory. Upon awakening from an injury, he discovers his best friend’s sister by his bedside. Cecilia had claimed to be his wife and Edward believes her. Their relationship had previously been built on notes through letters between Cecilia and her brother. In addition to that past, the best part of their relationship was the support between Cecilia and Edward. While he is injured, she cares for him and when Cecilia is given bad news, he supports her tenderly. This was a heartwarming book to read and Julia Quinn has excelled at creating likable and relatable characters. In the story she’s created, it actually makes sense for Cecilia to claim to be Edward’s wife. Quinn does an excellent job of pulling off one of the most unbelievable tropes- the amnesic hero.

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Feminists Take On the Romance Genre

On Monday, I kicked off BookCon week with an impromptu trip to the city! I decided to attend a panel discussion at The Strand Bookstore: Feminists Take On the Romance Genre. This panel featured Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Maya Royale, and Sarah MacLean, all of whom I adore. I was lucky enough to get an awesome seat ( three rows behind Gloria Steinem!!) and was able to Live stream some of the discussion on my twitter and Facebook. Twitter Live Stream. Facebook Live . This was an informative and lively panel about romance and the role it plays in feminism. The main take away is romance is books by women for women that celebrate female sexuality and pleasure! What can be more feminist than that!


 

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