Tag Archives: Love stories

Single Woman Seeks Revenge, by Tracy Bloom

10 Jun


Format: e-ARC, 209 pages

Publisher: Cornerstone Digital

Published: July 19, 2014

ISBN: 9781473506053

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: From the bestselling author of No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday … Another very funny romantic novel.

What do you do when you find your love-life in ruins? Get revenge on every man who ever broke your heart of course…

Suzie Miller, a disillusioned agony aunt, can’t believe she’s been dumped from a great height yet again (this time by text, straight after they’ve had sex… twice!). So she decides the time is right to make every one of her exes feel the pain she felt when they carelessly cast her aside.

Her methods are unusual but humiliation on a grand scale is no less than they deserve.

Euphoric that she’s finally stood up for herself she starts suggesting outrageous ways for her readers to deal with their relationship nightmares too. Suddenly everyone wants Suzie’s advice. Finally content with being single and enjoying her blossoming career it seems as though happiness is within her grasp. That is until a man gets in the way.

Single Woman Seeks Revenge is a romantic comedy with a kick: a kick up the backside to any man who believes he got away with treating a woman badly and to any woman who doesn’t fight back.

My review: A fun, easy read about a woman who decides to exact revenge on all the men who have wronged her and shares her “wisdom” in a newspaper column. I really liked Suzie and warmed to her story immediately – although I have to admit that at the Christmas party I disliked her quite a bit. Drew was just lovely, and my favourite part was when he helped her at the football game. Just brilliant! The plot wasn’t difficult to guess, and the ending very predictable in a rom-com kind of way, but overall this is a great light read.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5





The Confectioner’s Tale, by Laura Madeleine

3 Jun

confectionerFormat: e-ARC, 336 pages

Publisher: Black Swan

Published: May 21, 2015

ISBN: 9781784160722

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: At the famous Patisserie Clermont in Paris, 1909, a chance encounter with the owner’s daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air.

But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins.

Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words ‘Forgive me’. Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.

Take a moment to savour an evocative, bittersweet love story that echoes through the decades – perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore and Victoria Hislop.

My review: When I reached the end of this book, I couldn’t help but think that Jim Stevenson deserved his years of guilt and regret for what he did to Gui and Jeanne. The details of his misdeed form the basis of this fantastic debut novel, which tells the story of Gui and Jeanne’s love in Paris in 1910, alternating with investigations into the tale in 1988 by Stevenson’s granddaughter, Petra. Petra finds an old photo and a note expressing her journalist grandfather’s apologies, and must battle the clock and his nasty biographer to solve the mystery behind them. Her chapters alternate with the story of provincial Gui du Frere, who comes to Paris to work for the railway and ends up an apprentice pastry chef at the city’s top patisserie. He falls in love with the owner’s daughter, Jeanne Clermont, but their love is a huge scandal in those class-divided times.

I absolutely loved this story and was gripped by Petra’s search to uncover the truth. She loses a lot when she devotes herself to the search, but gains a love interest and there are a quite few laughs along the way. Gui’s story is heartbreaking and I’m not sure if Petra fully uncovers the horrifying details of Jim’s betrayal, as that chapter is told from Gui’s POV. The author describes the grimy backstreets of Paris in fetid detail, and captures the delicate confections of the patisserie with the knowledge of an expert baker. I was initially attracted to this book by the deliciously beautiful cover, and the content matched it perfectly. This is a great debut and I look forward to whatever Laura Madeleine writes next. Highly recommended.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5





The One In My Heart, by Sherry Thomas

7 May

oneinmyheartFormat: e-ARC, 260 pages

Publisher: NLA Digital LLC

Published: April 21, 2015

ISBN: 9781631280122

Genre: Contemporary romance

Back cover blurb: When Evangeline Canterbury meets the gorgeous, intriguing doctor next door, all she wants from him is a bit of distraction, to help her get over a few rough days.

Her one-night stand, however, has other plans: He needs an accomplished and presentable girlfriend to bring before his parents—and for six months of her time, he is willing and prepared to spend an obscene amount of money.

Nothing but trouble can come of such an arrangement. But can Eva stop herself? Or will she fall headlong in love with a man who will leave her when their contract expires with a smile, a check, and hardly a backward glance?

My review: Sherry Thomas’ first contemporary romance is a great read. I’m not a great fan of the “fake relationship” trope, but here it is done with a lot of thought and realism, and free of annoying angst. The story starts off HOT and continues that way, and the banter is fantastic. I especially loved all the geeky LOTR and pop culture references – any book which mentions New Zealand has a special place in my heart.

Bennett has a family link to one of Thomas’ historical novels, and I couldn’t help thinking as I was reading that he’s kind of a modern-day rake: a snappy dresser with money and a good position but in need of his family’s approval and the love of a good woman. I didn’t trust him at first, but grew to love him more than I did Evangeline. She has a fear I could genuinely relate to, and I liked her journey to overcome it.

The secondary characters are wonderful, and I would love to see them with HEAs of their own. I hope this won’t be Thomas’ only venture into the contemporary genre.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4.5/5




Book trailer reveal: Hard To Let Go, by Laura Kaye

7 May

Hard Ink Trailer Reveal Banner


I’m very excited to be taking part in this trailer reveal for Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink Series! HARD TO LET GO – the final title in the Hard Ink Series, published by Avon Romance, is releasing June 30th!! Laura has a very special treat, through June 29, anyone who pre-orders HARD TO LET GO, and Fills Out This Form, will receive a Hard Ink Series Short Story! Just fill out the quick form here!

Hard to Let Go - cover

Pre-Order at Amazon | B&N | iBooks| Kobo

Hard to Let Go on Goodreads



And now….The Amazing Hard Ink Trailer…




Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters his biggest complication yet—a seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.

A tough, stubborn prosecutor, Kat visits her brothers’ Hard Ink Tattoo shop following a bad break-up—and finds herself staring down the barrel of a stranger’s gun. Beckett is hard-bodied and sexy as hell, but he’s also the most infuriating man ever. Worse, Kat’s brothers are at war with the criminals her office is investigating. When Kat joins the fight, she lands straight in Beckett’s sights . . . and in his arms. Not to mention their enemies’ crosshairs.

Now Beckett and Kat must set aside their differences to work together, because the only thing sweeter than justice is finding love and never letting go.

Pre-order before or on June 29, fill out the form, and get a Hard Ink Short Story!


And don’t miss the other Hard Ink books, now available!


Hard as It gets

Hard As It Gets

Hard as You Can

Hard As You Can

Hard To Hold On To

Hard to Hold On To

Hard To Come By Cover

Hard to Come By

Hard to Be Good - Cover

Hard to Be Good


Praise for Hard to Let Go:

“Kaye wraps up her bestselling series with this action-packed story, highlighting her talent for alpha military heroes, hot romance, and an ensemble cast of characters who are unique and engaging. A supersexy, high-octane romantic suspense novel that concludes the popular Hard Ink series in a completely satisfying way.” ~Kirkus Reviews


Author PhotoAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


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Lone Star, by Paullina Simons

3 Apr

lonestarFormat: e-book, 576 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

Published: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 9780732294908

Genre: Women’s fiction

Back cover blurb: From the author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman comes an epic new romantic saga – heart-wrenching and passionate, this compelling story of love lost and found will stay with you forever …

Falling in love was the easy part …
Chloe is weeks away from college when she embarks on a grand European adventure with her boyfriend and two best friends. Their destination is Barcelona, with its promise of romance and mystery, but first they must detour through the historic cities of Eastern Europe to settle an old family debt.

As they traverse the unfamiliar landscape of the post-Communist world, Chloe meets a boy on a train who is going off to war. Johnny carries a guitar, an easy smile – and a lifetime of secrets.
The trip becomes a treacherous journey into Europe’s and Johnny’s darkest past – a journey that threatens to shatter the bonds holding together four lifelong friends.

From Riga to Treblinka to Trieste, Chloe must face her deepest desires colliding with the future she thought she wanted.

For Chloe and Johnny only one thing is certain: whatever their destination, their lives will never be the same.

My review: The Bronze Horseman is one of my favourite books of all time, so it’s hard not to compare Ms Simons’ other works against it. This got off to a slow start for me – it’s 20 percent in before the teens go off on the European journey in the back cover blurb – but once they get to Latvia, and once Johnny Rainbow comes into the picture, the story really kicks up a notch and I became invested.

The story is set a decade ago, before every young person had a smartphone in their eyeline at all times, so when things start to go wrong in Europe, as backpacking holidays inevitably do, they have little alternative but to rely on their own limited resources to carry on. I enjoyed the switching POVs and the way Simons captured the self-absorption of youth. The twists were well telegraphed and came as no real surprise, but I applaud the way she showed us rather than told us. That’s how I fell in love with Blake.

I don’t want to give away spoilers, but there is a link to this story and that of Tatiana and Alexander. That link kept me reading even when the subject matter got heavier, and the finale is just lovely. The only thing missing for me is that I would have liked to have seen what Moody thought of their adventures once the teens returned to Maine.

While not as wonderful and epic as The Bronze Horseman, this is one of Paullina Simons’ best works and I would highly recommend it.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5





Sea of Stars, by Amy A. Bartol (Kricket, book 2)

26 Mar


Format: Kindle Edition, 291 pages

Publisher: 47North

To be published: March 31, 2015

ISBN: 9781477828236

Genre: Fiction, science fiction/fantasy

Back cover blurb: Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.

A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.

My review: I practically inhaled this book! Sometimes second books in a series feel like placeholders, just marking time until the third and final installment, but not this one. Sea of Stars is just as gripping as Under Different Stars, with the action from the first book flowing straight into the second and never stopping for an instant.

Kricket comes into her own more as she finds herself separated from Trey and her other bodyguards and forced to contend not only with Kyon but also a new foe, Comantre baddie Giffen. Her ability to see the future comes in very handy, and there are some shocking revelations which have left me panting for the next book.

My favourite parts, though, were when Kricket and Trey were together. Their relationship develops considerably once they are reunited, and while the first book felt more like YA, this one is certainly more grown-up *fans self*. The secondary characters are again a joy, and there are some new ones I hope we see again.

Book 3, Darken the Stars, is due out later this year and I, for one, cannot wait! You must read this series!

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5





Dirty Rowdy Thing, by Christina Lauren (Wild Seasons, book 2)

25 Mar


Format: e-book, 352 pages

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published: November 4, 2014

ISBN: 9781476777979

Back cover blurb: From the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, and Beautiful Player, Book Two of the brand-new Wild Seasons series that started with Sweet Filthy Boy—a story of friends, love, and lust.

Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don’t even like each other…which would explain why their marriage lasted only twelve hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourself mantra. Maybe she’s too similar to the rugged fisherman—or just what he needs.

My review: This was so very good. Finn is just delicious, and Harlow is his perfect foil. I liked how strong she was, even in the face of some pretty awful circumstances, and their teasing banter was brilliant. Even the drama wasn’t too angsty and is over and done with pretty swiftly. There are a LOT of smexy times, and they are H.O.T. Finn might even beat out Max and Will for my favourite book boyfriend from these authors.

The secondary characters are a delight – I loved the addition of Not-Joe into their circle of friends, and even Ansel seemed much nicer this book than I remember him from his own book. I have a few issues with the way Lo and Christina are writing Australian Oliver, and I really hope they don’t make him a horrible caricature in his own book. I’m looking forward to reading it, but dread they’ll get the slang all wrong.

My rating: 5/5





Hard To Come By, by Laura Kaye (Hard Ink, book 3)

19 Mar

hardtocomebyFormat: Kindle edition, 384 pages

Published: November 25, 2014

Publisher: Avon


Back cover blurb: Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he’s become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…

My review: Better than the last two books, but not quite as good as the first, in my opinion. I’ve always liked Marz’s easy humour, and Emilie is a great match for him. She’s not a victim, and I liked that there were no great histrionics in their relationship. The suspense plot continues to develop with some major events, and once again Jeremy is a star. I did miss Eileen the three-legged dog, though. Looking forward to Jeremy and Charlie’s book next – Hard to Be Good, due out on April 7.

My rating: 4/5





(N.B: Amazon currently has this book on sale for 99c.)

Shades of Midnight, by Lara Adrian (Midnight Breed, book 7)

17 Mar

shades of midnightFormat: Kindle edition, 420 pages

Published: December 1, 2010

Publisher: Robinson Publishing

ISBN: 1849012822

Back cover blurb: Her sanctuary has become her blackest nightmare…

Life is tough in the Alaskan tundra but lately something wholly inhuman has let itself loose on the territory, leaving a wake of unspeakable carnage.

For bush pilot Alex MacGuire the wreckage is especially chilling – Alaska is the place she fled to after her mother and brother were brutally murdered in Florida.When the Midnight Breed is alerted to this slaughter, they send Kade to quell the danger and ensure Alex does not learn the truth behind the attacks.

And soon Alex will be tested by the threat of otherworldly evil, and by her unexpected desire for Kade, a man she should fear but who has become her seductive guide into an erotic realm of blood and darkness.

My review: Another great read from Ms Adrian. I really enjoyed the plot, which was fast-moving, and the new Alaskan location made a nice change. Kade and Alex were a good match — he was a typically hot warrior with a troubled family background and she was plucky and strong. I even felt a little sympathy for the Ancient! There’s an intriguing twist at the end to set up the next book, and I can’t wait to see how that turns out.

My rating: 4/5





More Bronze Horseman movie news

15 Mar

Apologies to all for my prolonged absence. Life has been exceedingly busy, but I did manage to catch this on Paullina Simon’s website this week. So very exciting! I think Alex would be a great Shura, but who would play his Tatiana?

My devoted readers and friends,

I’m thrilled to tell you that our mutual dream of seeing The Bronze Horseman on the big screen is one step closer to reality.

ITA Productions, a British company, has optioned the rights to my book. The producer, Martyn Hall, and the director, Sash Andranikian, love Tatiana and Alexander, and want nothing more than to make it into an emotional visual spectacle of a film. Sash, from a long line of animators and movie-makers, is Russian-American like me. He has read all three TBH books, and tells me that he loves them all. Martyn says The Bronze Horseman is the only book that has made him cry. They are looking to go into pre-production by the end of 2013, and to begin shooting early in 2014. So perhaps by the end of 2014, with a healthy dose of luck, we might have our movie.

We are going to be working from a script I wrote, which is fantastic, though it does mean that I have to rewrite it, which inevitably means I have to cut it. As you all know from my books, brevity is hardly my strong suit. My editing process always results in my books becoming twenty percent longer, not thirty percent shorter, which is what Martyn would like.

The good news is, the producers are promising that I will be on set to revise and add scenes as needed during filming, so at least we are going to have participation and some small measure of control in the creation of this magical thing called The Bronze Horseman, a movie.

I welcome your comments, questions, concerns, and of course, casting suggestions.

No, the film will not be in Russian. (Like the book wasn’t!)

What do you think of Alex Pettyfer as Alexander?

My very best,



Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writer, Teacher, Pop Culture Nerd.

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