Friday, July 31, 2015

Blog tour: Frisk Me by Lauren Layne


FRISK ME
New York's Finest #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing July 28th,2015
Forever Romance





After a photograph of Luc Moretti saving a tourist hits social media, he instantly becomes New York's most famous and beloved cop. When a major network decides to run a special on the "American Hero," Luc's boss gives him no choice but to cooperate in the name of good exposure for the department. Luc doesn't mind the celebrity status-what he does mind is the gorgeous brunette journalist who's been assigned to follow his every move. Especially since she also happens to be the same knockout that rejected him rather publicly the week before.


Ava Sims is a woman who gets what she wants. And what she wants is to be CBC's lead anchor-but to get there, she'll need to nail the fluff piece on the playboy cop. Luc Moretti is everything Ava knows to stay away from: a stubborn charmer with a hero-complex. But the more Ava gets to know Luc and his oddball family, the more she realizes that beneath the swagger and the blue uniform is a complex man who makes her heart beat too fast. Soon, Ava's doing the unthinkable, and falling for the best of New York's finest ...







Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.
Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.



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***Note: don't judge a book by its cover—especially not this book, because Luc Moretti is nothing like the guy on the cover. Sorry, I thought it fair to warn you because I was totally thrown off when I started reading the book and discovered Officer Luca Moretti was the total opposite of the guy on the cover—and this didn't help me create an image of him in my mind.***

If you like enemies to lovers stories, this will probably be a 5* read for you. For me, it was a 4* even though at some points I was thinking more about a 3* because some things didn't work too well for me. However, good dialogues and super funny side characters (plus the hilarious portrait of the typical Italian family—since I'm Italian, it made me laugh out loud for its authenticity) earned an additional star. 

I've read books by this author before and I enjoy her sassy, humorous and entertaining style. Her characters are well-rounded and the dialogues flow easily and feel real (not something everyone can do). This book is no exception and it's well written, hilarious at times and romantic at others. 

Although I enjoyed the book, I couldn't completely connect with the heroine, especially once she decided to uncover Luc's big secret—career-oriented or not, I thought that was plain mean of her, especially since she planned to suprise him on national TV. Even though I tried to understand her feelings, because of her awful family and all, in some parts of the book she drove me crazy. 

Luc, on the other hand, was a good hero. Who doesn't like a man in uniform, after all? Plus, he's a hero with a heart of gold but he's humble about it. He's the true essence of a modern hero. I didn't particularly like the fact that he seemed to be just another one of those guys who jump from one bed to another. I'm not being prudish, but I like my heroes to have a little more consideration of women as human beings, with feelings and all, rather than just a means to an end—the end being "to scratch an itch".

For this reason, I also didn't quite like the fact that they took advantage of their forced proximity to scratch said itch and spent basically half of the book doing just that. I think they acted on their attraction a little too soon, thus making the story drag on a little at times. Even though it was only sexual attraction at first, I think it would've been nice to wait a little, make them work for it. 
Okay, they both agreed that there would be no future for them as a couple, since neither wanted a relationship and a white picket fence, and neither was forced to do something they didn't want to do but still... I don't know, it felt a little shallow (again, that's just my personal opinion and it shouldn't influence your judgment).
There were quite a few descriptive sex scenes, so if you like clean romance this might not exactly be the right choice—on the other hand, if you like your romance books to be a little steamy, then this is a good pick.
I preferred way better the more romantic scenes, like when they spent time at Ava's and she was her real self, with glasses, messy hair and yoga pants, and they opened up with each other. Those scenes were beautifully written and I truly enjoyed them.

Like I said, there were funny side characters, which helped me enjoy the book just that little bit more. The best one is definitely Nonna, the grandmother. She's truly hilarious and made me laugh out loud. 
I also liked the tight-knit family, in true Italian style, and I enjoyed seeing how they all treated Luc like the "bambino" of the family, since he was the youngest. 

I will definitely be reading the next books in the series and I hope we'll get to know a little more about Marco (the only brother who doesn't live in NY with the rest of the family). Hopefully he'll have his own book too. 












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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blog tour: Chaos by Jamie Shaw


Chaos
Mayhem #3   
By: Jamie Shaw
Releasing July 21, 2015 
Avon Impulse


From the moment she saw Shawn Scarlett perform at a school talent show, Kit Larson has loved two things: the guitar, and the gorgeous, green-eyed boy who inspired her to play. But one careless night in high school shatters her hope of ever being more than a notch on his bedpost.

Six years, two bands, and one mostly-mended heart later, Kit’s about to make her rock star dreams a reality as the new guitarist for Shawn’s band, The Last Ones to Know. He may not remember their reckless night together, but Kit has never forgotten… and she’s determined to make him eat his heart out.

The release of their new album means a month cooped up on a tour bus, sleeping inches away from the ridiculously sexy musician she’s never quite gotten over. And as Kit gets to know the real Shawn—not Shawn Scarlett, the rock god, the player—their attraction becomes too hot to resist. But the past is paved with secrets, and when they finally surface, Kit could lose everything: the band, the music, her dreams… and Shawn.







Born and raised in South Central Pennsylvania, Jamie Shaw earned her M.S. in Professional Writing before realizing that the creative side of writing was her calling. An incurable night-owl, she spends late hours crafting novels with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy leading men. She's a loyal drinker of white mochas, a fierce defender of emo music, and a passionate enthusiast of all things romance. She loves interacting with readers and always aims to add new names to their book boyfriend lists.






It takes me an hour to drive to Mayfield. An hour of drumming my fingers against my Jeep’s steering wheel and blasting the music so loud that I can’t hear myself think. My GPS interrupts the eardrum massacre to give me directions to a club called Mayhem, and I park in the side parking lot of a massive square of a building.
With my Jeep in a spot and my ignition turned off, I drum on my steering wheel a few more times before smacking the heel of my palm against my glove compartment. It pops open, a hairbrush spills out, and I use it to tame my wind-tangled locks.
Earlier this week, the name of Shawn’s band—The Last Ones to Know—popped up on one of my favorite bands’ websites. I blinked once, twice, and then pushed my nose toward the screen to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.
They were looking for a new rhythm guitarist. After doing a little digging, I found out that their old one, Cody, got kicked out of the band. The website didn’t say why, and I didn’t care. There was an opening, and everything in me told me to send an email to the email address listed at the bottom of the online flyer.
I typed the email in a daze—as if my guitar-loving fingers wanted to be in the band even more than my spaced-out brain did. I wrote that I had been in a band in college but that we broke up to go our separate ways, I sent a YouTube link to one of our songs, I asked for an audition, and I signed my name.
Less than half an hour later, I received a reply overflowing with exclamation points and an audition time, and I wasn’t sure if I should smile or cry. It was a chance to make all my dreams come true. But in order to do that, I’d have to face the dream that had already been crushed.
These past six years, I’ve tried not to think about it. I’ve tried to erase his face from my mind. But that day, with that email in front of me, it all came back in a rush.
Green eyes. Messy black hair. An intoxicating scent that seemed to linger on my skin for days, weeks.
I give my head a little shake to clear Shawn from my mind. Then I finish brushing my hair and take one last glance in my rearview mirror. Satisfied I don’t look nearly as messy as I feel, I hop onto the asphalt and haul my guitar case from the backseat.
Now or never.
After a deep breath of city air, I begin making my way around the concrete fortress casting shadow over the parking lot. Unforgiving rays of afternoon sunshine wrap themselves around my neck and send beads of sweat trickling between my shoulder blades. My combat boots hit the sidewalk step by heavy step, and I force them to keep lifting and falling, lifting and falling. It isn’t until I’m at a massive set of double doors that I finally stop long enough to let myself think.
I raise my hand. I lower it. I raise it again. I flex my fingers.
I take a deep breath.
I knock.





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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blog tour: And Then Forever by Shirley Jump


And Then Forever
Fortune’s Island # 1 
By: Shirley Jump
Releasing July 28, 2015
TKA Distribution



Welcome to Fortune’s Island, where the only rule is to follow your heart.

Love is an extravagance Darcy Williams can’t afford. She prefers the simple life, which includes waitressing at The Love Shack and avoiding temptation. But when a forbidden part of her past steps off the ferry, her safe, guarded existence is turned upside down.

Kincaid Foster has never gotten over his first love. When he sees the wild, beautiful blonde again, dancing her way around The Love Shack, the memories of Darcy’s soft skin, gentle touch, and heated kisses come rushing back. As the privileged son of a wealthy family, Kincaid was too young to stand up to his overbearing father when he and Darcy were together. Now, he’s back on the island—free of the family shackles—and the chiseled, big-time lawyer wants a second chance.

But, Darcy made a promise to keep a secret from Kincaid—a secret that is now a six-year-old girl who looks just like her daddy. If Kincaid finds out about their daughter, Darcy could lose everything. But, she can’t resist the man who stole her heart all those years ago. And it doesn’t take long before both of them realize that anything can happen on a hot summer night.





New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump spends her days writing romance so she can avoid the towering stack of dirty dishes, eat copious amounts of chocolate and reward herself with trips to the mall. Look for her all-new novella in the anthology ASK ME WHY (with Marie Force, Virginia Kantra and Jodi Thomas), as well as the Sweet and Savory Romance series, including the USA Today bestselling book, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, on Amazon, and her Sweetheart Sisters series, starting with THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN.

Visit her website at www.ShirleyJump.com for author news and a booklist, and follow her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/shirleyjump.author for giveaways and deep discussions about important things like chocolate and shoes.






Just as Darcy turned toward table seven, the door to the restaurant opened, and the last bit of afternoon sun hit the floor, flooding along the wood like an instant gold river.
And Kincaid Foster walked into Darcy’s life, as easily as he’d walked out of it. Just like that.
She’d have recognized him anywhere, even though it had been seven years since she’d seen him last. Her heart stopped, and the perpetual motion that made up Darcy’s life came to a halt.
“Waitress? Hey, is that my burger? I’d like to eat today, you know.”
The voice drew Darcy back to the present. To her job. To the tray balanced on one hand. To the food getting cold while she stood here, letting Kincaid Foster have some kind of effect on her. Which he no longer did. Not at all.
She spun to the right, deposited said burger in front of a burly guy with a beard, then headed over to table seven to take their drink orders. Still, her peripheral vision kept straying to Kincaid, watching as he waited for his eyes to adjust to the dim interior, then headed across the room to the bar. He never even looked her way once.
That stung a bit, she had to admit. They’d been something once—or at least she had thought they were, until Kincaid let her go as easily as letting the wind snatch away a tissue. She’d thought he would fight for her, that she meant more than that, but…
It had taken her a year to get over him, maybe more, but she was now.
Over him. For sure.
“Uh, what did you say you wanted to order again?” she asked the middle-aged couple seated at the four-top before her. She readied a pen and her order pad, but her gaze strayed again to Kincaid. Damn, he looked good.
Still tall, muscular, with the kind of broad shoulders that seemed to welcome a heavy load. His dark hair was a little long, and one wave hooked over his right brow. She knew his hazel eyes, knew them as well as her own, knew the definition of his hands, the way his smile could make an entire room disappear.
“Miss? Miss?”
Darcy turned back. Again. “Um, sorry. What can I get you?”
The woman’s face filled with annoyance. “A menu? You seated us and said you’d be right back with menus. That was ten minutes ago. Can’t tell you what we want to eat until we know what you have to eat.”
“Oh, oh, right, sorry.” Darcy snagged two menus from the hostess station and brought them back to the table. Then she beelined for the kitchen, her brain as frazzled as a summer storm.
Before Darcy got more than a foot inside the door, Jillian was grabbing her arm and hauling her to the side. “Did you see who just walked in?”
Darcy scowled. Did the man wear a neon sign around his neck or something? “A whole bunch of customers waiting on food.”
“And Kincaid Foster.”
“I saw him.”
“And?”
“And he’s here.” She gave a casual shrug. “What’s the big deal?”
Jillian arched a brow. “You don’t care?”
Of course not. He and I are in the past. The way past. Hell, I was barely out of high school. I hardly remember him.”
“Uh-huh. Then why are you hiding out in the kitchen?”
“I’m not hiding out. I’m waiting for an order.” She leaned against the counter and feigned impatience with the kitchen staff. “For, uh, table seven.”
Jillian grinned. “You just seated table seven. They haven’t ordered yet.”
Darcy sighed. “Okay, yes, maybe I am taking a breather in here. I just didn’t expect to see him. Ever again.”
“His family does have a house on the island.”
“That they haven’t visited in more than a decade.” Not that Darcy had been paying attention. Not one bit.
“True.” Jillian crossed her arms. “Wonder why he’s back.”
“Well, I don’t.”
Lenny put a heaping plate of buffalo wings on the warming shelf. “Order up, Darce. Table four.”
Thank God. The last thing Darcy wanted to do was stand here discussing a man who was ancient history. They were over, done. Had been for a long damned time. He was probably married to some pretty little socialite who wore twinsets and dressed their four kids in matching outfits from some designer baby offshoot.
She pushed the swinging door and headed out to the dining room. The party was ramping up as the room filled with college kids on summer break. They lingered around the jukebox in a pack, sipping at beers that dangled from their fingertips. The girls had on bikinis and sheer dresses, even though temperatures hadn’t quite hit the eighties yet. The boys hung a little behind the girls, watching their hips sway to the music.
An old Simple Plan song came on the jukebox, pounding out the lyrics to “Addicted,” with a heavy bass. For a second, Darcy was back in that summer after she graduated, that magical summer when it seemed like everything was going to be perfect.
That same summer when she’d scrawled a promise on a dollar bill, oblivious to how her life was going to change days later. 




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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blog tour: Truly Sweet by Candis Terry


Truly Sweet
Sweet, Texas #5
By: Candis Terry  
Releasing July 28th, 2015
Avon


Candis Terry returns to Sweet, Texas for the last time when former Marine Jake Wilder discovers how truly sweet love can be.

When the one you’ve always wanted

At sixteen, Annabelle Morgan hoped her crush on Jake Wilder was just a passing phase. Now she’s twenty-nine and nothing has changed except Jake. The once-carefree marine has come home with a giant chip on his shoulder. He insists a single mom like Annie deserves more than he can offer. Yet no matter how gruff his gorgeous exterior may be, Jake s toe-curling kisses convince her that this attraction is definitely mutual.

Becomes the one who wants you back

Butting heads with feisty Annie was always a thrill. Add other body parts to the mix, and Jake is in serious trouble. He can’t be a forever-and-family guy and Annie s not a friends-with-benefits kind of woman. But love has a way of changing the best-laid plans, and surrender has never been so tempting.

The outcome is truly sweet.





Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.




Anger tore through Jake and rattled his cage hard. His chest constricted and caved as he closed Eli’s eyes with his dirty fingers. Lieberman’s were already closed. Jake made a silent promise to Eli that he’d get the bastards that had done this to him and those who’d killed his brother as well. Knowing his promises didn’t mean shit, because he’d just broken the one he’d made to Eli’s wife, he got back to work.

He clicked on his radio and nearly howled with relief when it came to life. He repeated the call for air support and now, a medevac. He reported the casualties and injuries in a surprisingly calm voice. And then, wiping the sweat from his eyes and stifling the urge to scream, he came out from behind the protective wall of rock.

In that instant he knew exactly what his brother had done on the day that he’d been killed. The desire to rescue lives became bigger than the fear of his own death.

He’d made it halfway back to the rocks—dragging a barely conscious and bloodied Private Stacks—when the impact and burn of a bullet to his thigh buckled his knee and stole his breath. Another soldier came out from cover to help but Jake waved him off. Damned if he’d risk another soldier just to save his own sorry ass.

Once Jake got Private Stacks to safety he dropped to the sand, ripped the bandana from around his neck, and tied it around his upper thigh to staunch the steady stream of blood while he shouted out orders probably no one wanted to heed.

Why should they?

He’d just gotten several men—including his best friend—killed.

The battle raged for hours in the blistering heat before night fell and air support rocketed to their rescue, pushed the enemy back, and the dust settled. Under the cover of darkness Jake assisted in helping to carry the fallen and injured to the medevac before he agreed to climb onboard and accept aid for himself.

As the helicopter lifted off and spun sand like Dorothy’s tornado from the Wizard of Oz, Jake gave Bagley a salute and a silent prayer that the young Sergeant would get the remaining men back to camp safely.

The blood of his friends on his hands and the chop-chop-chop whir of the helicopter blades beneath a starless night were the last things Jake remembered.



Fabulous small-town romance featuring a super handsome and super sweet ex-Marine, a strong heroine, a cute toddler and fantastic side characters - including an adorable dog!

Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to read the complete Sweet, Texas series yet (but I plan on doing it asap) and so far I've only read two novellas. This book is definitely my favorite in the series and I truly enjoyed every bit of it. 
There is romance, there is laughter, there are tear-jerking moments and there are hot scenes. This book is the perfect mix of all the elements of a good romance book, perfectly delivered by an expert writer's mind.
Just like the other books, there are parts in the book that are definitely not sweet (they actually get kinda steamy) but all in all, emotions are what the story focuses on and you will definitely feel the warmth envelope your heart and leave you all fuzzy and happy.

Sometimes I come across books that give me a hard time when I have to write a review, because they're so good I don't know how to convey my feelings to the people who'll be reading my review. Well, Truly Sweet is one of those books. 
I could write on and on about how real and relatable the characters were, or how I wanted to pack up my suitcase and move to Sweet because the setting was described in such an amazing way, I already felt part of the Sweet community. 
I could write word after word after word about how good the author's writing is, how tangible the emotions were and how some scenes captured my heart and never let it go until the very first page. 
I could tell you about how I couldn't put the book down but at the same time I didn't want it to end so I had to force myself to stop and do something else, or else it would be over too soon. 
I could. 
But I won't.
Because no words could really explain the way you'll feel once you've finished reading it.
All I'm going to say is: pick up this book and you won't be disappointed. 

If you like small-town romance, this book is a must read. It works perfectly as a standalone, but I'm sure once you've finished it, you'll one-click all the previous books. 
If you've read the previous books, it goes without saying you must read this final instalment in the lives of the people of Sweet (by the way, whose story was your favorite? I find it hard to think I could like anyone's story better than Jake and Annie's).









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