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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Release & Review - Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Release DateAugust 29th, 2017
Age Category/ Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class and the nobles who destroyed their home. 

When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen's personal assassins named for the rings she wears -- Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal -- their world changes. They know it's a chance for a new life.

Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.

Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon

3 “Masks & Diversity” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire!

I had high hopes for this book, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it as much as I wanted to.

I know a lot of people are complaining about the fact that this was built on a common YA Fantasy premise (main character gets into some sort of tournament that requires them to kill other people/fight for their life), but that didn't bother me. I knew what I was getting myself into because the blurb is honest about this part, and I'm not one to complain about tropes. 

The problem with Mask of Shadows was how it didn't do much with that trope. There was an overall lack of something special or intriguing enough to make this stand out. Even if it relied in a common premise, it could've still given me incredible frienships, amazing chemistry, swoony romance, memorable characters, enganging action scenes or explosions. Everybody likes explosions, right?


But I couldn't find any of that.

Sure, there was a nice friendship between Sal and Maud, the girl appointed by the court to serve Sal while she was in the running to becoming (not America's Next Top Model) Opal, one of the Queen's personal assassins. But it was just that. Nice. It took Sal too long to see Maud as a friendly figure. Then once they did, it felt like the book was ending and there were tons of other things happening.

The chemistry/romance was also lacking. I was excited when Sal first met Elise while trying to rob her--who doesn't love that? But as they met again when Sal was already in the competition, I didn't feel the connection between them as much. They had some flirty and cute moments, but they never pulled me in completely.

As to memorable characters, that's where Mask of Shadows came closer to hooking me. I liked Sal. I'd initially forgotten all about Sal being gender fluid (I got the e-ARC a while ago and was waiting to read it closer to release date), and I ended up playing a game of is this narrator a girl or a boy for a few pages, which was fun. Then the explanation came and I was pleased to see how respectful it was. I won't pretend to know much about the subject, but I understood what it meant for Sal to be gender fluid and how that was part of their life, so I'm counting that as a win. I also liked how other characters, like Ruby, respected that and made sure to address Sal properly.

Speaking of Ruby, I have to say he was my favorite character. I don't know exactly what it was about him that intrigued me so much, but there was something special about that character.

There were no explosions (that I remember), but there were actions scenes and they were good enough. 

I found the writing to be a bit weird at times. Not bad at all, just different. But I could still find some lines that made me laugh a couple of times and one that gave me pause:

"Only difference between robbery and murder was what you stole."

I also have to give props to the author for the world she created. I liked the masks, shadows and nations, and I might be wrong here, but was there a Portuguese vibe to it? At least the names made me think of Portugal and even Brazil.

Overall, Masks of Shadow brought some interesting elements to a common YA Fantasy premise, but it didn't wow me.

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

Cover Reveal - Legs (One Wild Wish #1) by Kelly Siskind

Title: Legs
(One Wild Wish #1)
Author: Kelly Siskind
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: September 27, 2017

Running into your one-night stand is a special kind of awkward. Competing against him in a wine tasting contest is delicious torment…

On Rachel’s twenty-seventh birthday, she wishes to finally find a rewarding job. What she doesn’t wish is to drink a boatload of wine, sleep with a tattooed bad boy, and drunk email her boss in one glorious, career-ending move. But the fiasco pushes her to pursue a career inspired by her late father’s love of wine: sommelier. 

Unfortunately, she’s competing against her infuriating one-night stand, a man as intoxicating as a Pinot Noir.

Two years ago, Jimmy was set to inherit his family winery. Then it got ripped from his grasp. To close that dark chapter of his life, he plans to win a local sommelier contest and use the press to expose his family’s tainted wines. 

Jimmy loves studying the streaks of alcohol that cling to a wineglass, known as the wine’s “legs,” but other shapely legs are stealing his focus. Tantalizing legs. Legs that had wrapped around his waist for one wild night. Jimmy, sadly, has a weakness for legs. 

He also hates to lose.

LEGS is a full-length, standalone Smart, Sexy Romantic Comedy with a swoony Happily Ever After. No cheating or cliff-hangers here! Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren, Avery Flynn, Alice Clayton, Emma Chase, and Lauren Blakely.


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The last person I wanted to see walked into the restaurant, and I tensed. Her frantic gaze was forced to me, and the only three vacant seats. She searched the room in vain, the rounding of her spine a clue she wasn’t thrilled about her options. She looked out the way she came, squeezed her eyes, then squared her shoulders and marched toward me. Part of me—the lower half—wanted to pin her to the wall with my thighs while I hitched that proper little skirt higher. The other part hoped she’d wandered into the wrong place. Not because our night together had been bad, or the fact that she’d disappeared without a trace. No. The thing that had the tendons in my neck bunching was remembering how good it all was. Too good and too much fun, and I’d imagined rounds two and three and four ad nauseam. But rounds always ended in a knockout punch. This girl was nothing but trouble. She paused at the table, drew in a long breath, mumbled something as she exhaled, then glared at the seat beside me and the ones across. She chose beside, probably to face the room. The only reason we’d hooked up two weeks ago was because there were no names and no strings. She’d admitted how hard it would be for her to relax, how awkward she’d feel afterward. The relaxing part I took care of with one brush of my lips. The awkward was still alive and kicking. What went down between us couldn’t happen again. Distractions over the next two months weren’t an option, and repeat affairs led to feelings, and feelings led to promises, and promises were nothing but lies dressed up to seduce. Not an outcome I was keen to revisit. Still, I couldn’t ignore her anxiety, as long as she wasn’t here because of me. I leaned toward her. “You’re the last person I expected to see.” She squished her lithe body farther from mine. “Kind of coincidental, don’t you think? Did you follow me?” “I got here before you. If anyone is stalking, it’s you tailing me.” Indignation colored her cheeks. “I didn’t follow you. I saw a flyer and thought the contest looked interesting, but you obviously read it, too. If I’d known you’d be here”—aggravation laced her hushed tone—“I’d never have shown up.” Her harsh words had me fisting my hands, or maybe it was how tempting the line of her neck looked, that column of tanned skin shifting as she swallowed. But she was right: having a diversion wouldn’t help my plan. “Then we’re on the same page.” “Excuse me?” “Since we’re both here for the contest, we can pretend that night never happened.” Her face fell, but a beat later, she said, “Good,” nothing but ice in her voice. I followed with “Great.” She spat, “Fine.” So much for stamping out the awkward.

Kelly is the author of CHASING CRAZY, MY PERFECT MISTAKE, A FINE MESS, and HOOKED ON TROUBLE, the latter three being part of her Over the Top series. A small-town girl at heart, she moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blog Tour & Excerpt - Mr. Prescott by Carlos Dash


Title: Mr. Prescott 
Author: Carlos Dash
Publication Date: August 20th 2017
Age Category/Genre: New Adult Romance
I’m the Mayor of London.

I’ve come to New York purely on business. The usual boring meetings with other politicians.

I don’t expect my time here to be exciting in the slightest.

But who’s that woman I met this morning? No, girl. That would be a more accurate term for her.

She’s only twenty-one years old. A college student. Someone who shouldn’t get mixed up with a guy like me.

But I can’t get her out of my mind. Every single time I close my eyes, I see her face.

How can someone I just met do this to me? That’s the kind of stuff that happens in movies. Not real life.

I know this will be a dangerous risk for me, but I can’t help it. I want her. I need her.

And whatever it may do to my career, I won’t stop until I have her.


Mr. Prescott is a standalone New Adult Romance novel told entirely from the point of view of the male lead.

My Rolex said it was 7:57 pm.

Nicole would be arriving at any moment. Even if she decided to be fashionably late, I knew I wouldn’t be out there for long. She wouldn’t keep me waiting. No one kept a man like me waiting.

I had one hell of a night ready for her. The amount of effort I put into planning everything… I couldn’t remember the last time I did that for any woman.

Usually, I didn’t have to work hard to get women into bed. I didn’t even have to approach them. They approached me. One thing led to another. I had a reputation back in London. Everyone there knew that I wasn’t like any mayor they’d had before. I enjoyed spending time with beautiful women. I liked taking them to bed.

Thankfully, it was the modern age, so I only went through a little bit of criticism here and there. No one chastised me for not being a prude.

But with those women, I had a goal in mind. I wanted to see the sight of my cock going into their bodies.
With Nicole, I wasn’t sure what my endgame was.

I sensed her before I saw her. She was wearing the same clothes she had on that morning in the bookstore, but there was a coat over her shirt now. A jacket, actually. A black jacket. A hard look to pull off, but she was doing it. My cock shifted a little in my pants upon seeing her. 

Her hair, however, which was previously tied back in a ponytail when she was in the store, was now flowing freely down her shoulders. It was a fascinating color of dirty blonde. I felt a sudden compulsion to run my hands through it.

Enough, Nathan. Get a fucking grip, mate.

“There you are,” I said, appearing to be smooth and detached. “No trouble getting here?”

“No trouble,” Nicole replied. She came to a stop a few feet ahead of me. “So where are we going?”

“Upstairs.”

Her cheeks reacted faster than the rest of her. The red tint. She was blushing. I loved making her do that.

“Upstairs?” she said shakily. “You don’t want to go out?”

It does’t take a scientist to know what she was worried about. She thought by “upstairs,” I meant I was taking her up to have sex.

“There’s a surprise for you on the roof,” I said, letting her know that my bedroom wasn’t on my mind.

“The roof?”

At this rate, it was just going to be question after question. “It would be easier if I just showed you,” I said, turning to walk towards the elevators.
I’m a guy who likes to cut right to the chase, so here we go: I’m a male author of Romance/Erotica novels that are told entirely from the POV of the male protagonist. If you enjoy happy endings and steamy tales about people falling in love quickly, my stories are for you.
 
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Book Blitz - Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

BEARD IN MIND BT BANNER.jpg
Title: Beard in Mind
(Winston Brothers #4)
Author: Penny Reid
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!

BIM-cover (2)
All is fair in love and auto maintenance.
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.
Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.
The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

She’d taken the sofa, in her own house, and given me the bed. That didn’t make a lick of sense. I crouched next to her, threading my fingers into the silky hair at her temples. “Honey.” “Mmm.” I bent to whisper, “Shelly.” “Hmm?” “I’m going to carry you to your bed. I’ll take the sofa.” “Mmm.” I grinned at her soft noises, at the untroubled expression on her face, and how her brow—even in sleep—still looked regal and stern. Sliding my arms under her legs and shoulder, I picked her up. And, unfortunately, that woke her up. She jerked in my arms. “What are you doing?” “I’m taking you to the bed.” “Don’t do that.” “I don’t mind, I’ll take the sofa.” Our mouths were just inches apart, and hers was distracting. She squirmed. “Put me down.” Sighing unhappily, I did. I set her on her feet next to the couch. The blanket pooled at her feet and I stepped back to give her some space. It was dark, but I could see her just fine, and that meant I had to force my eyes to remain above her neck. The woman was wearing two pathetic scraps of fabric as pajamas. A thin little tank top and shorts. That’s it. I set my jaw and turned to the side, waiting for her to walk past. “Where are you?” I glanced at her and realized she couldn’t see at all. She didn’t have a hand out, but the way her eyes were moving about the room gave away her blindness. “I’m here.” I didn’t touch her, because if I did, I wouldn’t want to stop. Shelly turned her head in my direction and took a deep breath. Still she didn’t reach for me. I didn’t know the specifics of what to expect after her Friday session, but I recalled Dr. West saying something about Shelly doing self-guided ERP exercises over this week. “Can you see?” She licked her lips, her voice sandpapery. “Because I can’t see at all. It’s so dark.” “I can see.” Unbidden, my eyes dropped to her body, to the swell of her breasts, the panel of bare stomach, the curve of her hips. Pinpricks of heat raised over my skin and I curled my hands into fists. She shuffled forward and I caught her before she bumped into me, setting my hands gently at her waist. “Let me take you to your room.” My voice was rough, for obvious reasons. Saying nothing, she brought her hand to my forearm, her body gently colliding with mine. And then her hand on my arm slid up my bicep to my shoulder. “Shelly.” I was running out of breath. “I like this.” “What?” “Touching you.” Oh fuck. I held still and endured her hands moving over my body, down the front of my shirt, stopping at the hem, then pushing it up. “Take this off.” I did. I pulled the T-shirt over my head and let it drop to the floor. We stood there, facing each other in the dark, not touching. Despite the session on Friday and the progress that had been made, I realized she wasn’t quite there yet. Dr. West was right, Friday was just a step, the first step. Shelly wasn’t able to initiate contact. Not yet. Her hands balled into fists and she swayed forward, her breath struggling little puffs. If anything was going to happen tonight, I had to initiate it. I had to be the one to touch first. God, how I wanted her. How I wanted her above me, beneath me, surrounding me. But how could I? “I know why I hesitate,” her voice was breathless, “but why do you hesitate?” “Lots of reasons.” “Give me one.” “I don’t want to you use you.” “I wish you would.” That pulled a laugh from me, just a small relief from the mounting tension. My eyes moved over her body, an undeniable impulse to devour the sight of her, her legs, stomach, chest, then up her neck to her lips. “You asked me on Saturday if sex was a big deal for me, or if it was you. The answer is both.” She held very still, and I got the sense she was holding her breath, straining to listen. “You are a big deal to me. I don’t want a fling. I don’t want a flirtation. I want promises.” “What can I promise you?” That you’ll love me. That I’ll be your priority. She shifted her weight from foot to foot. A spike of anxiety that she might leave me like this had me acting without forethought. I lifted my hands to her waist again and immediately, her fingertips skimmed over skin of my lower stomach in response, making my muscles tense in hot anticipation. She grew more assertive as she caressed my sides, abdomen, ribs, chest, shoulders, and then back down. Shelly stepped closer, a hint of thrilling contact between her breasts and my torso, and all the words and worries melted from my mind, died on my tongue, suffocated by the feel of her body, and the possibility of this moment. Her finger hooked in the waistband of my jeans. “Take these off.” Her hand turned, her fingers and palm cupping me over my zipper. Instinctively, I pressed myself into her touch even as I grabbed her wrist. “Beau, I promise—” She didn’t get to speak, because I kissed her, hard and wild, unbuttoning and unzipping my fly with one hand and bringing her palm inside my boxers with the other.

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Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/hsTLLC
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Enter the Giveaway!

PennyReid

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Connect with Penny:

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Book Blitz with Giveaway - A Necessary Lie by Lucy Farago

Title: A Necessary Lie
Author: Lucy Farago
Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Age Category/Genre: Romantic Suspense


The Investigative Collection Unit is one of the world’s most renowned agencies, solving cases with—or without—the law on its side. And the Unit’s men are special agents in more ways than one, with secrets that can make or break them—and the hearts of those who fall for them . . .

He’s known only as Cowboy. A successful rodeo star with a string of women behind him, the ICU has given him a chance to stay put instead of constantly running away—from the past, from love, from the blood on his hands. And he’s not going to screw that up, even if it means going back home to Texas to investigate the disappearance of the woman who made him start running in the first place . . .
The political exposé of a popular senator should have been Grace Irvine’s story, but she thought it would be good for her best friend Jessie’s career. Now, Jessie is missing and Grace will do anything to find her. But her path keeps crossing with a mysterious and charismatic cowboy who has his own reasons for finding Jessie. And as intrigue draws Grace and Cowboy deeper into danger, passion starts to play by its own rules—making promises it might not be able to keep . . .

Lucy Farago knows there is nothing like a happy sigh at the end of a good book. With the encouragement of her loving husband, she wrote her first manuscript. An unpublished historical, it sits in a file on her computer, there to remind her how much fun she had learning the craft and becoming part of an industry whose books make you believe anything is possible. A big fan of Agatha Christie, she set out to write her first romantic suspense novel. Thrilled to be a published author, Lucy also teaches yoga, enjoys cooking, and saying what other people are thinking. In her fantasy world, her beautiful Siberian husky, Loki, doesn’t shed and her three kids clean up after themselves . Alas, that fantasy will never see fruition.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!