Tag Archives: Love stories

Absolute Beginners (Absolute, Book 1), by S.J. Hooks

18 Jul

23947529Format: Kindle edition, 232 pages

Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital

Published: March 18, 2015

ISBN: 9781633700406

Genre: Contemporary romance, erotica

Back cover blurb: Professor Stephen Worthington’s life makes perfect sense.

He teaches classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. He has dinners with his parents on the weekend. He goes to the gym with his comically crass stepbrother, Matt, a few days each week. And every night, he heads home at a reasonable hour, alone.

There’s only one thorn in Stephen’s perfectly organized side: Ms. Julia Wilde. Never has Stephen dealt with a more unruly student. She’s rude, provocative, infuriating—and she dresses in a way that is completely unbecoming for a lady. Stephen can’t wait for the semester to be over, and then he’ll never have to see her again.

That is, until Stephen finds himself out of the classroom and in Julia’s apartment. Suddenly, the student/teacher roles are reversed, and the professor receives a much-needed lesson between the sheets. Stephen thought his life made sense, but after his tryst with Julia, he finds himself changed in more ways than one. Maybe he’s coming down with something.

Or maybe, something a little out of the ordinary is exactly what this stuffy professor needs to really live.

*This novel contains mature content*

My review: I’ve been a huge fan of S.J. Hooks for a while now – her free online story about a homeless veteran is one of my fic favourites – and it’s hard to believe she is not a native English speaker. Her writing is clear and fast-paced, and I couldn’t put down this story about a shy, geeky professor and his student who drives him crazy. I loved both characters, and their friends and family, and could really relate to inexperienced Stephen’s POV. The story ends abruptly, but thankfully I have the second book and have started it straight away. A fun, quick read.

My rating: 5/5

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Passion and Propriety (Hearts of Honour, book 1), by Elise de Sallier

18 Jul

22375673Format: e-book, 270 pages

Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House

Published: August 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61213-261-7

Genre: Historical romance

Back cover blurb: A hidden beauty. A wounded beast. Can the curse threatening their happiness be broken?

There is absolutely nothing improper about Hannah Foster, the vicar of Hartley’s eldest daughter, nursing the badly wounded Viscount Blackthorn back to health—that’s if the returned officer can be saved. At twenty seven she is two years the man’s senior, a confirmed spinster, and far too sensible to develop feelings for her patient. The fact he was once her childhood friend and has grown into a fine specimen of a man—his terrible scars notwithstanding—has no bearing on the matter.

Even if the unthinkable were to happen and William was to see past her plain exterior and recognise the caring, intelligent, passionate woman beneath, he is determined to break the curse that has plagued his family for generations by letting his bloodline die out. Her best friend, Grace’s, warnings are moot. A man of Lord Blackthorn’s wealth and position would never be interested in a woman like Hannah . . . would he?

My review: I really enjoyed this, and Elise de Sallier is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I love a good bodice-ripper, and this reminded me very much of the series I enjoy by Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare and others. It’s well-written with interesting, fleshed-out characters the reader can feel for. There is UST in spades, and it’s nicely done with lots of good showing rather than telling.

William is just lovely. The absence of love in his childhood made him prickly at the start, but Hannah’s caring brought him around. His willingness to help his fellow soldiers showed he wasn’t such an uncaring brute even in the army. I love his arc, coming to accept the curse is broken. And he’s yummy.

I cannot wait to read more in the series. Now that there are a few ex-military men at the big house there’s bound to be one to catch a girl’s eye 😉 Rawr!

My rating: 5/5

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Searching For Always (Searching For, book 4), by Jennifer Probst

3 Jul

24375332

Format: e-ARC, 400 pages

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published: June 30, 2015

ISBN: 9781476780115

Genre: Adult contemporary romance

Back cover blurb: New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.

My review: This is my sixth book by Jennifer Probst and I think they keep getting hotter! Officer Stone Petty is a fabulous hunk of alpha male, and although I struggled with his name to begin with – I don’t know anyone called Stone and kept reading “Officer Pretty” instead, lol! – he grew on me almost as much as he grew on Arilyn. The UST in this book is off the chart, and once it’s acted upon I just couldn’t stop reading. *fans self*

Arilyn comes off as a bit inflexible at times, but I think she changes just as much as Stone does. Key to their relationship is Pinky, an abused chihuahua they hilariously save from a dog fighting ring. I just loved Pinky, especially her relationship with Stone’s colleagues and Kate’s dog, Robert, who was the star of the first book in this series. (I missed having a chapter in Pinky POV, though!) All the secondary characters were great, especially Poppy and Mrs Blackfire, adding to the humour of the series. It was also wonderful to catch up on all the previous couples and those from Probst’s other series, Marriage to a Billionaire. I highly recommend both series and am glad to see that perhaps this won’t be the end of the line for the Book of Spells. I think there are a few other cops just begging for their HEA!

***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

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To celebrate the release of Searching for Always, Jennifer Probst is holding a giveaway to win a prize pack and also a $US50 donation to the animal shelter of your choice.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

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 AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at http://www.jenniferprobst.com.

LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Happy Release Day: Searching For Always, by Jennifer Probst

30 Jun

 

SFA_BLITZ

Today we are celebrating the release of SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst. This is the fourth book in the Searching For series and it is published by Gallery Books. Check out the teaser and giveaway below.

SearchingforAlways

 

SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS Synopsis:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.

 

Add the book to Goodreads

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PURCHASE SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

SFA_Teaser2 copy

 

 

 

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

SFA_RescuePet

 AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at http://www.jenniferprobst.com.

LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Stacking the Shelves #13

21 Jun

 

Stacking The Shelvesl_thumb2Hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Welcome back to Stacking the Shelves, a regular meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the latest books you have added to your shelves, physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books! Here is my haul from this week.

24375332

Invited to read via Netgalley

I was invited by Gallery Books to read Searching For Always by Jennifer Probst via Netgalley, which was my first invitation from a publisher since I joined – woo hoo! I have read a number of Probst books and enjoyed them a lot.

23472165

Freebie purchased from Amazon

Because I’ve been reading her other books, I grabbed Rewind by Susan Ward when it was free on Kindle this week. It’s a novella about the children from her other Half Shell and Affair Without End series, so I’m keen to read.

7892145

Purchased from Amazon

Finally, I bought Taken by Midnight by Lara Adrian from Amazon. I read a number of the Midnight Breed series earlier this year and am up to this one, so grabbed it while it was a couple of dollars cheaper. The last one ended with a bit of a cliffhanger so I’m keen to see what happens next.

So that’s it for this week. Keep an eye out for my reviews of these in coming weeks. So what new books did you pick up this week? Let me know in the comments.

Single Woman Seeks Revenge, by Tracy Bloom

10 Jun

22747691

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

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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

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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

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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

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And now….The Amazing Hard Ink Trailer…

 

Link:https://youtu.be/qM45fjLJXXk

About HARD TO LET GO:

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.

 

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

 

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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

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