Runaway Heiress by Syrie James with @puretextuality and @avonbooks

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Runaway Heiress by Syrie James
Series Dare to Defy Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Impulse
Publication Date June 12, 2018

Runaway Heiress by Syrie James

When a runaway heiress runs into trouble, she may end up exactly where she belongs…

Brainy and college-educated, American heiress Alexandra Atherton will do anything to avoid marriage to the English peer her mother has chosen for her–even abandon the life of privilege she’s always known. But as her escape goes horribly wrong, Alexandra must invent a new identity to gain the help of a handsome stranger.

Thomas Carlyle, the Earl of Longford, sweeps in and out of London disguised as a humble artist, earning just enough to keep his ancestral Cornwall estate afloat. When Alexandra crashes into his life, she awakens feelings and desires that he vows will stay buried. Despite himself, he needs this beautiful newcomer, for his sisters have run off another governess.

Alexandra is surprised to find she thrives in her new position at Longford’s home. But as she grows closer to Thomas and his sisters, and her relationship with the emotionally guarded earl unleashes their hidden passions, the truth Alexandra’s been forced to hide may end up coming between her and the only man she’s ever loved.

Buy Links: 

Amazon | Avon Romance | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iBooks

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Excerpt:

“One first-class ticket for Liverpool, please.” Alexandra Atherton managed a smile for the ticket agent behind the window.

“One way or return?”

“One way.” Alexandra anxiously made her way across the busy train station, hardly able to believe she was doing this: running away, dressed in her maid’s old clothes, bound for Liverpool and the steamship that would take her home.

Her escape, she knew, would cause something of a scandal. Over the past few years, whenever her name or one of her sisters’ names had cropped up in the press, it was always followed by “the American heiress,” or “the daughter of multimillionaire banking tycoon Colis Atherton.” As if they were not actual people in their own right.

Alexandra hated to feed the gossip, but after last night, what choice did she have?

She had left a note explaining where she’d gone and why, which her maid Fiona was to “accidentally discover” later that afternoon. By then, it would be too late for her mother to prevent Alexandra from sailing. She just prayed that upon her reaching Liverpool, a berth would be available aboard the Maritime.

The train platform was alive with the clamor of movement and conversation. Gentlemen in black frock coats and ladies in elaborate plumed hats darted to and fro, checking the printed timetables, studying the large clock hanging from the rafters, purchasing apples from a vendor and papers from the newsstand. As Alexandra wove through the crowd, she heard a high-pitched voice at her elbow:

“Got a penny for a poor orphan?”

She paused. Before her stood a raggedly dressed, dirty little girl. Alexandra’s heart went out to the creature, who gazed up at her with wide eyes, her hair all in a tangle.

Alexandra wondered how a penny could possibly be of any help to a child in such need. Withdrawing her coin purse from her reticule, she offered the child a shilling. “Here you go, little one.” Suddenly, more children in similarly dirty clothing appeared and crowded around her.

“Mine!” cried a boy.

“No, mine!” cried another.

A grubby fist flashed out and snatched the shilling from Alexandra’s grasp. She couldn’t tell if it was the first girl who took it or one of the boys; indeed, she wasn’t entirely sure what happened next. All Alexandra knew was that multitudes of small, filthy hands were striking at her as young voices erupted in raucous shouts. Her coin purse was suddenly wrenched from her grasp, and a second later her handbag was gone.

“Wait! Give it back!” Alexandra cried, as the flock of children fled. “Help! Stop those children! They’ve stolen my bag!”

No one made any move to help her. Alexandra pushed her way through the crowd, racing after the children, but the ragamuffin band vanished as quickly as it had appeared. At the end of the platform, she stopped to catch her breath. The whole incident, she saw now, had been cleverly played, the efforts of a pack of urchins who preyed on unsuspecting travelers.

She searched for a policeman (what did they call them here? Bobbies?), but realized that even if one materialized, she couldn’t report the theft. She was dressed as a servant, in the act of running away.

Alexandra stood rooted to the spot, overwhelmed by a crushing sense of horror and disappointment as the depths of her predicament became clear to her. Her handbag was gone. It had held all her money as well as her train ticket. She hadn’t been able to take anything else with her, and now had nothing left except the clothes on her back. Clearly, there would be no trip to Liverpool today, and no voyage to New York.

Tears stung Alexandra’s eyes as she made her way back through the train station. What should she do now?


Syrie James - Author PicSyrie James is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Nocturne; Dracula, My Love; The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (Great Group Read, Women’s National Book Association; Audie Romance Award, 2011), and the international bestseller The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Best First Novel 2008, Library Journal.) An admitted Anglophile, Syrie loves paranormal romance and all things 19th century. She lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

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Underdogs by Elisabeth Hobbes

Do you have a favourite trope or character type?

I’ve always loved an underdog hero.  There’s something about a character with the odds stacked against him and who struggles on despite all the slings and arrows that fortune chucks at him which really appeals to me and puts a book on my auto-buy list.  Perhaps I find these characters so compelling in historical romance because until far too recently women had much less power than men so it redresses the balance a little to see a woman who can call the shots.  In an era where the prospect of a good marriage was a huge consideration, a man with high status and title or a full bank box had it easier than one who didn’t.  That makes it a little too easy for my liking, though.  I like my men to have to use other means to get my attention including charm, resilience and honour.

Just to read or to write as well?

I practice what I preach because all my heroes are either lower status than my heroines or relatively low in the society they live in.  I’ve written an outlaw, a household steward aiming for his boss’ titled daughter, an illegitimate blacksmith and a duke’s henchman.  The only Overdog (I wonder if that’s worth copywriting…) I’ve written was Roger, my Rogue Knight, and even then I couldn’t resist the urge to incapacitate him and leave him with no recourse to his usual means of seducing a woman.  On paper none of them have much going for them, so my men have to have really earn their HEAs and offer the heroine a compelling reason to commit to life with him. 

Does your latest hero fit that description too?

In Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight, Gui should by all measures be the villain of the piece.  He’s taking a woman from her priory to be married against her will and is impersonating her future husband in order to gain access to her in the first place.  On top of that, he’s part of the Norman army that invaded and conquered England.

But Gui isn’t from a noble or powerful family who joined William of Normandy for rewards of land and wealth.  He was a regular squaddie who followed his lord to England – one of the thousands of archers who fought in the ranks (and he wasn’t responsible for shooting an arrow into Harold’s eye before anyone asks).

It is Gui’s status as an outsider that makes him sympathetic to me (and hopefully to readers).  He wasn’t granted land and titles when King William carved up England after the Conquest and he’s now living in a hostile land, surrounded by people who despise him and with no prospect of a future.  Without giving away too much, he’s been left scarred, both mentally and physically, by his experiences during the Battle of Hastings.  He suffers nightmares and, for reasons the reader will discover, can no longer fulfill the role he once did.

As he travels across Yorkshire Gui sees the aftermath of the Conquest – something he has played a part in.  He must come to terms with his guilt and decide whether to return home or stay in the country and help rebuild it, finding a purpose to his life as he does.

BBFK

He’s her enemy…

…and she must not fall for him!

When her mistress is taken as an enemy Knight’s betrothed, handmaiden Aelfhild knows it would be too dangerous for her Lady – she must go in her place! But there’s more to the scarred Knight than she first thought…she isn’t expecting to fall for him! As the line between friend and enemy blurs, Aelfhild realises she might be protecting her mistress, but not her heart…

Visit Elisabeth Hobbes WEBSITE for more details.


Excerpt:

Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight

Sir Gui gave a sharp cry and arched his back, slamming down again on to the straw mattress. Aelfhild shivered, wondering what horrors he might be seeing. She could not leave him to suffer through the night.

She crawled across the room to kneel beside his cot. In the dim light of early dawn she could see his face. Sweat had matted his hair to his brow and cheeks and his eyes were screwed tight shut as he fought whatever night demons held him captive. He looked more vulnerable than she had ever seen him, more even than when he had stood naked and unarmed in the river. Her heart filled with sympathy for his suffering, but close behind it was a thrill that she was seeing this side to him that he had previously concealed. If Sigrun saw this, perhaps she would lose some of her fear of him. She opened her mouth to call Sigrun across, but then closed it, wanting to be the one who he saw when he awoke.

‘Wake up,’ Aelfhild murmured, leaning over him.

He didn’t respond so she reached a tentative hand to his cheek and brushed the hair back. His skin burned to the touch like a man in a fever. His chest rose, muscles swelling beneath his loose tunic. Aelfhild spread her fingers wide, longing to trace the path of them and feel the strength in him for herself. Instead she blew gently across his face, hoping that her cool breath might wake him or at least ease his temperature a little and make him more comfortable.

Gui’s arm came up abruptly, lashing out with a force and speed Aelfhild could never have anticipated. The metal rivet on his glove caught her on the eyebrow, drawing blood, and the flat of his forearm landed across the side of her face.

Aelfhild had received whippings from the prioress as punishments for some disobedience or other, but no one had ever struck her in such a manner. Lights exploded in her head. She cried out in pain and surprise as tears filled her eyes. There was no fear, she realised when she thought about it later, understanding instinctively that he had not intended to hurt her.

Gui’s eyes flew open at the sound of her cry and locked on to hers, but from the glazed expression that filled them Aelfhild doubted he was really seeing her. His shoulders slumped and he murmured something wordlessly, then closed his eyes once more. Before Aelfhild could move away, Gui’s arm wound around her back and she found herself clasped firmly to his chest. She tried to pull away, but Gui’s arms were rigid and his embrace too strong. In sleep he had made her his prisoner. His nightmare appeared to have passed because now he lay still, breathing with a regular rhythm.

Faced with pulling free and perhaps causing his nightmares to resume or staying where she was, she decided lying in Gui’s arms until he released her of his own accord was the most sensible option. She heard Sigrun settling back on to the blanket at the other side of the room and almost laughed at the absurdity of lying with her friend’s betrothed while the bride lay so close and seemingly uncaring.

Aelfhild’s face throbbed from the blow he had given her and she felt lightheaded. She reached her fingers to examine her temple and was reassured when they felt sticky, but not soaked in blood. The wound was not too serious, though from the throb of heat that coursed through her face she expected to have a bruise come morning. She wriggled into a more comfortable position, lying on her side with her body pressed against his and one leg crooked over his, her pelvis jutted against his hipbone causing heat to surge within her. For want of a better place to put it, she laid her hand across Gui’s chest and her head found a space in the hollow between his neck and shoulder. Her breasts pushed against his side where the broad chest began to taper to his taut belly. His deep breaths caused his chest to rise and fall and each movement caused a pulse of excitement to shoot through her body.

She had never realised muscles so firm and powerful could provide a bed so appealingly soft and welcoming. Any wife would willingly lie in such a bed and it upset her more than she expected that she was not to be his wife.

When she awoke, Gui’s arms had slackened as he slept and he no longer held her tight. She wriggled free from his embrace, leaving him unaware that she had spent the night anywhere other than the pallet she shared with Sigrun.

Thread of Revenge by Elizabeth Goddard

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COAST GUARD PROTECTOR

Marine biologist Sadie Strand is back in her coastal hometown to prove her best friend was murdered—but searching for evidence almost costs Sadie her life. Abducted, drugged and left for dead on a sinking boat, she’s barely rescued in time by Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Gage Sessions, an old friend. Assigned to protect Sadie and connect three complicated cases, Gage risks his life time and again to make sure the woman he once loved survives. But although the handsome, guarded agent vows to protect her, someone will keep killing to ensure the truth never rises to the surface. 

Review:

Elizabeth Goddard knows how to keep a reader hooked. Thread of Revenge is a compelling, pulse racing, edge of your seat thriller that twists and turns with each new chapter. Sadie Strand’s quest to find evidence proving her best friend had been murdered will not be easy. With the help of Gage Sessions, they set about their mission for justice but with bad guys on their tails will only make these two fight harder for the truth while saving themselves at the same time. Thread of Revenge is fast-paced and edgy. With a diverse cast of characters, detailed prose and a riveting plot, this is one book that shouldn’t be missed! 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

Tempted by Her Greek Tycoon by Katrina Cudmore

26166316_1139120072890940_3973632699399372619_nResisting her boss’s charms…

Loukas Christou needs a wife. For the luxury hotel tycoon, honoring his parents’ memory by acquiring their dream hotel should be simple. But to complete the deal he must be married. Enter temporary PA Georgie Jones, who offers to be his matchmaker!

Georgie never stays anywhere long-term—her mother’s abandonment proved that even the strongest relationships never last. She should be focused on finding Loukas a bride, but resisting the temptation of her Greek tycoon’s kiss is easier said than done! 

Review:

Tempted by Her Greek Tycoon is a sweet, charming, quick read with an engaging cast. Witty dialogue, sparkly prose and abundant drama keep you absorbed for a few hours. Loukas Christou and Georgie Jones are likable, lively and cool. Their shenanigans throughout the book are the perfect kind of entertainment. Also, the solid cast of secondary characters adds that extra touch to make the book even more compelling. Thoroughly enjoyed! 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

A Proposal to Secure His Vengeance by Kate Walker

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His preferred method?

Ruthless, irresistible seduction!

Imogen O’Sullivan is horrified when charismatic tycoon Raoul breaks up her engagement and makes her his own convenient bride! She once surrendered everything to Raoul–body, heart and soul. But as he stalks back into her life, it’s clear he has punishment in mind, not just passion! Can Imogen resist Raoul’s potent brand of delicious vengeance? 

Review:

This is Kate Walker’s first book in months but let me tell you the wait is worth it. A Proposal to Secure His Vengeance is sexy drama, sizzling chemistry, red-hot revenge and intense angst that ricochet out the roof! Imogen O’Sullivan is no doormat. She encompasses the essence of grace, sass and independence. But she is a spitfire when stroked the wrong way. Raoul defies every law of gravity when he dismantles her life. He wants revenge but Imogen is stronger than he thinks. Raoul on the other hand is beautifully scarred. I didn’t like his personality and his lust for revenge at first, but as the story progressed, I got to know him better, I got to see him evolve and it got to a point where I cheered for him to get his girl. Beneath his tough, broody exterior is a man whose heart yearns for the healing touch of love. Overall, Kate Walker beautifully brings this story alive. It is sexy and engaging and I enjoyed it! 

Recommended 
4.5 Stars

Prince’s Son of Scandal by Dani Collins

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Carrying the prince’s secret heir!

For one night, reclusive heiress Trella Sauveterre throws off the fear-ridden shackles of her childhood abduction–succumbing to a sizzling seduction, she falls unexpectedly pregnant! Deeply uncomfortable in the spotlight, Trella can’t bear a high-profile pregnancy and keeps the identity of her baby’s father hidden…Then a tabloid photo of a scorching kiss implicates Crown Prince Xavier of Elazar in the scandal. He’ll do anything to claim his shock child–even kidnapping Trella! Now Xavier must legitimize his son. And it’ll be his pleasure to make Trella his royal bride!

Review:

Dani Collins doesn’t disappoint in her latest Presents romance. Prince’s Son of Scandal is a breathtaking and utterly captivating story. At last we meet Trella on a personal level and wow, her emotion-packed back-story grips your heart. The author projects her with such realism that you’re compelled to root for her regardless of the flaws she possesses. To say Crown Prince Xavier is the perfect hero for her is an understatement. This alpha male might get his way with things at some point but no way does he come off as a jerk. But the strong connections these two protagonists share run deeper than attraction. Trella is the yin to Xavier’s yang—these two complete each other. They are perfect together and I savored each time they waltzed onto the page. The scandal, the passion, the sophisticated flair of this story is entertainment overdrive. Overall, Prince’s Son of Scandal by Dani Collins is a vibrant, beautifully composed romance with a rewarding and satisfactory ending and makes the author’s Sauveterre Siblings quartet a sigh-worthy experience. 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

A Virgin for a Vow by Melanie Milburne

VVHer innocence–exposed!

As London’s top relationship columnist, Abby Hart can’t tell anyone her biggest secret: not only is her perfect fiance entirely fictional, she is also utterly untouched. Invited to attend a prestigious charity ball with her “husband-to-be,” she throws herself upon the mercy of brooding millionaire Luke Shelverton.After his own engagement ended tragically, Luke is reluctant to take credit for Abby’s diamond ring. To protect her reputation, he agrees to a convenient arrangement. Except Abby’s effervescence kindles a fire he’s tempted to indulge… And uncovering her innocence compels Luke to initiate his temporary fiancee into all the sinful delights of the bridal bed!

Review:

Melanie Milburne’s latest release is a potent mix of angst, drama, romance and seduction. The vivid and taut writing makes the narrative come alive. Meanwhile, the characters had depth, were likable and engaging. I savored every moment of the fast-paced journey the author and her characters took me on. Abby Hart and Luke Shelverton are genuine and independent. They deserved that drool worthy happy ending after all the obstacles thrown their way. In summary, I couldn’t get enough of A Virgin for a Vow, and I believe this may very well be my favorite of all the author’s books! 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

Little Secrets: Secretly Pregnant by Andrea Laurence

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Secret Identity. Secret Baby…

They’d worn masks! So after one wild night with a fellow Mardi Gras party guest, accountant Emma Dempsey never expects to see her mysterious seducer again. Her only reminders are a tattoo…and a positive pregnancy test.

CEO Jonah Flynn feels a strange connection to his beautiful new auditor. Her tattoo — identical to his own — explains why. They vow to keep things professional, even as desire tempts them away from their good intentions. But when everyone’s secrets are revealed, will Jonah have to choose between his business, his lover and his baby?

Review:

Little Secrets: Secretly Pregnant by Andrea Laurence propels you on to a rollercoaster. It’s fast-paced, sexy and the sizzle between Emma Dempsey and Jonah Flynn is hotter than hot! The plot is engaging, the writing is vibrant and the characters just keep the angst, drama and sexy times going with their shenanigans. The author has craftily wielded her pen to create magic on the page. I’m sure fans old and new will be clamoring to get their hands on a copy. I closed the book one satisfied reader. 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

Navy Doc on Her Christmas List by Amy Ruttan

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A snowbound reunion!

Tension between Dr. Ella Lockwood and former navy doc Zac Davenport is sky-high! All she can think about is how he once broke her vulnerable heart.

But now she’s a confident ER surgeon who’ll never let him hurt her again. And being snowed in together on Christmas Eve at Manhattan Mercy reveals his last tour of duty has changed Zac, too. But that compelling spark is still there—and one more irresistible kiss is all it takes to start healing the wounds that have held them back…

Review:

I enjoy reading reunion stories and Amy Ruttan’s Navy Doc on Her Christmas List has everything you want in a book. First of all, it’s a Christmas themed romance! Secondly it has two main characters whose lives cross after a prolonged time. The spark between Ella Lockwood and Zac Davenport is electrifying and I savored the banter between them. The storyline is realistic and the plot moves along with a bang. I was hooked from the moment Emma and Zac get snowed in at the hospital. Their past together is resurrected and the way the author builds the tension adds to that emotional build-up which hooks you. All in all, Navy Doc on Her Christmas List is a wonderful, heartwarming story where the magic of the season and love shine light on the simplest meaning of two hearts becoming one! 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

The Prince’s Fake Fiancée by Leah Ashton

37786181His princess for keeps

Playboy Prince Marko’s rebellious past hides a wealth of pain, but he’s neglected his royal duties for too long. And now that his brother and country need him, he’ll do anything to prove he’s changed—starting with a fake fiancée!

Elite bodyguard Jasmine Gallagher was hired to protect the prince, not get swept into his glamorous world, but she can’t help falling for the man behind the crown. Marko’s found a way into Jas’s guarded heart, but will he claim her as more than just his convenient princess?

Review: 

This is my first Leah Ashton romance but it most definitely will not be my last. I cracked open The Prince’s Fake Fiancée and devoured the book in a matter of hours. It’s a colorful and heartwarming romantic tale and the perfect escape from a hectic day. In bullet points, here’s what made my day with this book: 

– The world building is believable. If I hadn’t known better I’d say 100% of the places described in the story were real!
The writing—it’s fluid, natural and well-layered. 
– The internal and external dialogues are engaging and vital. 
– The strong motivations portrayed by the main protagonists add depth. 

Overall, The Prince’s Fake Fiancée is enjoyable romantic goodness.

Highly Recommended
4 Stars

Little Secrets: Unexpectedly Pregnant by Joss Wood

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Will a baby on the way reunite ex-lovers?

Three years after Tyce Latimore let Sage Ballantyne walk away, they end up back where they started—in bed. Now she’s carrying his child…and there’s no way he’s losing her again.

Tyce is tempting. Dangerous. Addictive. Sage left him for all the right reasons. But one passionate mistake could reunite her with the world-famous artist for all the wrong ones. A baby on the way ups the ante. So does an explosive secret that threatens their two families and could shatter Sage and Tyce’s precarious reunion…

Review:

Will a baby be enough to reunite Tyce Latimore and Sage Ballantyne? The steamy passion between Tyce and Sage has never burned out, even after they’d parted ways. But once again they find themselves in bed together; however, the consequence of their torrid union will test their strength and courage and determine whether they make or break their relationship for the well-being of the baby they’d created. Sage is determined to keep her baby and gives Tyce an ultimatum. 

“Take my offer to walk away. This child will be raised a Ballantyne—no one will ever have to know that he, or she, is yours. I’m giving you permission to forget about this conversation.” 

Tyce knows what he wants and will have things his way whether Sage likes it or not. He’ll claim her and their baby. The tug-o-war of emotions that pulse throughout Little Secrets: Unexpectedly Pregnant is riveting and careens in every direction. Joss Wood test her main protagonists in such a way that they have to make important decisions, but in the end, Sage and Tyce’s mind-blowing reunion is worth every trial. Ms. Wood has done a wonderful job creating a well-rounded set of characters and plot that is engaging from beginning to end. 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

One Night Stand Bride by Kat Cantrell

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The Paparazzi Proposal 

Their one-night stand made the headlines. Now playboy Hendrix Harris decides marrying the lady in question will stop the rumors from derailing his family’s political ambitions. Rosalind Carpenter, with her pedigreed background, will make the perfect bride…and she drives him wild. But Roz will only say “I do” if they stay chaste until after the vows. The temptation may be more than he can stand…especially when he starts to fall for his wife. 

*One Night Stand Bride is part of the In Name Only trilogy.

Review:

What happens when your one-night stand hits the headlines? Kat Cantrell has always written some of the most breathtaking alpha heroes who you can’t help falling in love with and in this book I savored Henrix! He commands your attention in such a way that you can only swoon. Rosalind is vibrant and headstrong and she’s the perfect match for this ravishing playboy. The passion between them is explosive. However, when their one-stand hits the headlines, the only thing left for them to do is initiate a charade to fool the world. But what happens when these two fall for each other? Sparks fly of course! One Night Stand Bride is the perfect escape read. It is genuinely gorgeous and the main characters’ sweep you away on a high-octane journey where their sexy and passionate romance is off the charts. I couldn’t get enough of this book. 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

Christmas at the Tycoon’s Command by Jennifer Hayward

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Billionaire boss’s festive seduction! 

Shy Chloe Russo is dreading her first Christmas running the family business. Working with Nico Di Fiore is the last straw! Once, Nico’s kisses promised Chloe every sensual delight, until he coldly rejected her. Now he’s her very commanding, very arrogant boss!Control is paramount to Nico–after his father’s bankruptcy lost him everything, nothing will distract him from succeeding. He’s always kept a tight rein on his craving for Chloe, well aware she alone has the power to disarm him. But now, unable to deny their connection, Nico is determined to reclaim control and take Chloe as his own!

Review:

Chloe Russo is miffed Nico Di Fiore is at the helm of the company her parents created. Tasked with concocting a Christmas hit product for Evolution, Chloe sets out to prove to Nico the perfume she’d made is the perfect item to bring Evolution back on the map. However, it’ll not be easy to win her boss’s trust. But once she does, things get topsy-turvy. Old feelings are rekindled and emotional revelations are revealed, which draws Nico and Chloe together. Their passion and their mutual understanding of each other keep the pages turning. Overall, Christmas at the Tycoon’s Command by Jennifer Hayward, is an angsty, dramatic, sexy and an all out entertaining read. The well-crafted characters command attention and the electrical romance between Chloe and Nico will leave you satisfied. 

Recommended 
4 Stars

Holiday Baby Bombshell by Karen Booth

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From Rivalry to Revelry…to Romance? 

Competitive swimmer turned real estate magnate Michael Kelly is tastier than a Christmas cookie. But now Charlotte Locke’s sexy former lover is her top business rival…and the father of her unborn child. Determined to keep her professional cool, the hotel heiress hides her delicate condition from her family—and from her commitment phobic ex. Until Michael moves in next door, exposing a desire left unquenched and Charlotte’s pregnancy secret. 

Michael may not be daddy material, but losing Charlotte and their baby isn’t an option. He’ll close the deal at any cost—even if it takes a Christmas miracle to prove this playboy is reformed for good!

Review:

Karen Booth has proven once again that she knows just how to make her characters burst to life on the page! Her vivid and brilliant storytelling and her subtle humour woven into Holiday Baby Bombshell is utter beauty. I was mesmerized by the detailed prose, the high-octane drama and the fabulous protagonists who both held the promise of fun times ahead on the onset of their introductions. Charlotte Locke is a breath of fresh air. She is classy, smart and headstrong. And who could be a better match for her than Michael Kelly, her ex! The banter, the slow burning romance, Charlotte’s secret and the secondary cast made this story the most satisfying escape ever. I savored every word! 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

Texas Christmas Defender by Elizabeth Goddard

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TARGETED AT CHRISTMAS

After earning the wrath of her brother, a notorious drug kingpin, Adriana Garcia has been in deep hiding on a remote Texas llama ranch. But when Texas Ranger Brent McCord manages to find her—leading her brother’s men right to her—Adriana discovers she’s a suspect in the murder of a border patrol agent. The handsome, principled ranger, whose life she once saved during a dangerous sting operation, intends to bring her in for questioning…and protection. To prove her innocence, Adriana has to trust Brent with the truth, her heart and her life. Because her brother and his henchman have the ranch surrounded, and Brent’s all that’s keeping this Christmas from turning deadly.

Review:

Adriana Garcia is hiding from her drug cartel brother only to have her location compromised when she’s accosted with a gun to her head on Christmas morning by Brent McCord, a Texas Ranger she’d helped rescue back in Mexico. She’s being accused of murder. Can Adrianna prove to the Texas Ranger that she’s innocent of all the alleged crimes attached to her name or will it be too late? Will her brother find her and kill her before she can prove her innocence? Elizabeth Goddard has never disappointed me as a reader. Her well-honed writing skills bring her characters and stories alive in such a way that you’re gripped from page one. Texas Christmas Defender is a rollercoaster, edge of your seat thriller that is bound to keep you hooked! I savored getting lost in Adrianna and Brent’s world!

Highly Recommended
4.5 Stars

Their Mistletoe Baby by Karin Baine

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A Christmas dream come true 

When handsome pediatrician Lucas Brodie walked out on his wife, Freya, at Christmas, he left her heart and hopes for a family shattered. This year, nurse Freya is determined to put the pain behind her by volunteering on a trip to take sick children to Lapland. But then she discovers Lucas is coming, too!

As they begin to fall in love again, Lucas wonders–could he give her a family after all? Can he put his past behind him? Perhaps an unexpected pregnancy could be the Christmas miracle to make Freya’s dreams come true…

Review:

The holiday spirit is alive in Their Mistletoe Baby by Karin Baine. The sweet, candid story with two amazing and well-crafted main characters, also with a plot that is engaging, emotional and realistically portrayed brings warmth to your heart. I devoured the book in a matter of hours and felt at a loss when I turned the last page. Fast-paced, well-written and satisfying, Their Mistletoe Baby is a must-read! 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

 

Black Ops Warrior by Amelia Autin

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An alpha hero falls for the woman he’s sworn to take down in Amelia Autin’s latest Man on a Mission romance!

Help her. That’s all Niall Jones can think to do when his target almost panics. Undercover operative Niall is tracking suspected traitor Dr. Savannah Whitman, but when she comes under threat, he can’t help but swoop in to save her. And the sparks that fly between the secret agent and Savannah are anything but covert.

After a personal tragedy, Savannah decided to depart her high-security defense job to live life to the fullest. But she never expected to meet a sexy, mysterious stranger—or for her very safety to be under siege…and enigmatic Niall is the only one who can protect her! 

Review:

Niall Jones is on a mission to find out what government secrets Dr. Savannah Whitman knows, meanwhile Savannah, is a brilliant engineer. When these two clash there are fireworks. But is Savannah innocent of espionage? And could Niall have the guts to kill her if he finds her guilty? Will his emotions for her get the better of him? Amelia Autin weaves a compelling, intense and edge of your seat romantic thriller in Black Ops Warrior. Her intelligent characters fill the pages with engaging scenes which grab your attention instantly and doesn’t let you go until the end. Detailed writing and a fast-paced plot with believable conflict makes for a satisfying read! 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

His Mistletoe Proposal by Christy McKellen

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A diamond for Christmas 

Flora Morgan is determined to honor her best friend’s dying wish, even if it means relocating to England and accepting the challenge to try to fix Alex Trevelyan’s broken heart.

Except brooding musician Alex, her best friend’s brother, isn’t interested in Flora’s help. She may be beautiful, but he’s no charity case! Until it becomes clear that he isn’t the only one who needs saving. And perhaps he’s the key to showing this beautiful breath of fresh air that love can be found in the most unexpected of places!

Review:

Flora Morgan is on a mission to heal Alex Trevelyan’s heart. Travelling to England, she meets Alex, a man who makes every fiber in her being come alive. The attraction is there from the start.

‘She gazed back at him, the intensity in his eyes doing strange things to his insides.’ 

However, personal reasons make Alex close up on Flora. How will he and Flora resolve the issues keeping their hearts under lock and key?

Overall, His Mistletoe Proposal by Christy McKellen is sexy, beautiful and emotional from page one—literally! These two sweet, kindhearted protagonists made the story come alive with their dreams, drama, romance and quirky personalities. I was swept up in a blissful journey where the spirit of Christmas and the charms of romance unfolded with vivid storytelling. A thorough and enjoyable read.

Highly Recommended
4.5 Stars

Claiming His Secret Royal Heir by Nina Milne

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Married for their baby? Or for real…

Crown Prince Frederick of Lycander needs a wife and an heir, and discovering he has a secret son with beautiful supermodel Sunita makes him determined to claim them both!But Sunita has no desire to live and raise baby Amil as part of Frederick’s royal entourage! Until he persuades her it’s the best thing for their son. Their engagement reveals that their passion still simmers but, to keep Sunita and Amil by his side, Frederick discovers he must also admit his love… 

Review:

Nina Milne’s latest release isn’t a Christmas themed romance, yet I feel like it is the perfect cozy read to get lost in on a rainy or snowy day indoors. The rich warmth, the sweet romance and the passionate characters charm you from page one and you can’t help but cheer for them, then eventually fall in love with their happy ever after. Fast-paced, genuine and hilarious at times, Claiming His Secret Royal Baby is a page-turner that you should have in your hands right now!

Highly Recommended
4.5 Stars

Best Man Under the Mistletoe by Jules Bennett

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This Christmas romance will blossom!

Planning a wedding with the gorgeous, sexy best man would have been a lot easier if he weren’t Chelsea Hunt’s second-worst enemy. Gabe Walsh is furious that he’s being blamed for the sins of his uncle, but soon his desire to prove his innocence turns into the desire to make Chelsea his!

Review

Jules Bennett has proven yet again that love conquers all. Her polar opposites main protagonists will charm their way into your heart with their wit, charisma and strong-willed nature. Prepare to get lost in this wonderful story which might I add is engaging from the start. The tension slowly builds with each scene. Superb writing keeps the pages turning.

Gabe’s business image is at stake due to the crimes of his now dead uncle. Chelsea is a victim of Dusty’s online racquet. So obviously she should despise Gabe. However, a few twists keep the plot interesting when these two step onto the page together. The banter is entertaining and to say sparks fly is an understatement. Gabe and Chelsea’s chemistry is explosive and they suit each other regardless of the circumstances. 

Overall, Best Man Under the Mistletoe by Jules Bennett is a wonderfully charming holiday romance with all the right tropes to keep you hooked!

Highly Recommended
4.5 Stars

Snowed in with a Billionaire (Secrets of the A-List #2) by Karen Booth

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There’s a sexy secret under the tree this Christmas…

With no money and her real name under wraps, chef Joy McKinley isn’t expecting the greatest Christmas. At least her hideout is a luxury mountaintop estate. But when a gorgeous, gallant, incredibly sexy billionaire ends up snowbound with her, Joy wishes she could tell Alexander Townsend the whole truth about herself. Especially when the one thing she shares is her bed—and then discovers he has as many trust issues as she does. Will keeping secrets cost Joy the best Christmas gift she’s ever received? 

Review

Joy McKinley has a secret she doesn’t want the people of Vail to know. But what happens when a super sexy billionaire is snowed in with her? Karen Booth brings the opposite attracts trope to life in this sensual and vivid story. Beautifully written and wonderfully characterized, the story unfolds with drama and heart stopping emotion. Thoroughly enjoyable and the perfect holiday treat! 

Highly Recommended 
4.5

Buying His Bride of Convenience (Bound to a Billionaire #3) by Michelle Smart

9780263924756Daniele Pellegrini must wed or lose his family inheritance. Eva Bergen is the perfect candidate for three reasons:

1. Her body is pure temptation
2. She can’t reject his outrageous charitable donation in exchange for their vows.
3. Most importantly, she can’t stand him – this hard-hearted tycoon won’t risk his wife falling in love!

When Eva’s first youthful marriage ended in tragedy, she buried any hope of loving again. She’s certain she’ll have no problem keeping her second marriage on purely convenient terms…until her husband changes the rules with his expertly ruthless seduction!

Review

Buying His Bride of Convenience is the final book in Michelle Smart’s Bound to a Billionaire trilogy. The story follows Daniele Pelligrini and continues in parallel with Matteo and Natasha’s story who we met in Claiming His One-Night Baby. 

Buying His Bride of Convenience opens up with Daniele having himself checked out by a medical volunteer, Eva Bergen who he so happens to know from a previous date. Their meeting in the opening scenes isn’t glamorous or the sparks don’t fly off the pages. However, when Daniele is tasked with finding a wife in order to claim his inheritance, he has one person in mind…Eva. The drama slowly builds from this point and the scenes that unfold close the trilogy with a bang. Unique, angsty and intense, Buying His Bride of Convenience by Michelle Smart is a solid and compelling read. I enjoyed the banter and the internal musings of Eva and Daniele and throughout their tumultuous journey from being polar opposites to becoming madly in love make their relationship become the perfect forever after! 

Recommended 
4.5 Stars

Claiming His One-Night Baby (Bound to a Billionaire #2) by Michelle Smart

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One night…  

Seeing Natasha Pellegrini at her husband’s funeral propels Matteo Manaserro back to a time before she shattered his trust. Caught in a potent mix of emotion, they surrender to their explosive passion… 

One secret…  

Unable to share the truth about her passionless marriage, Natasha is a virgin until Matteo’s touch brands her as his. 

One baby…  

When Matteo discovers Natasha is pregnant, he knows they must present a united front. He may never trust her, but he’s intent on claiming his baby. Except he hasn’t bargained on their insatiable chemistry binding them together so completely!

Review

Goodness, Michelle Smart knows how to layer drama and raw emotions in her stories. Claiming His One-Night Baby had me hooked from page one. The book has everything. Secrets, scandals, family drama, sophistication and intense romance of course! Natasha and Matteo are flawed and imperfect. I respected them for the decisions they had to make in the end after all the drama which unfolded the moment they gave into their desire for each other…which by the way never died after they’d both gone their separate ways. The opening scenes grab hold of you. I was drawn to Matteo the moment he made eye contact with his parents. I wanted to know more about him—to discover the reason(s) why he wasn’t in terms with his parents—also what drama sat behind his brother’s death. I was also inquisitive as to how the author would bring Matteo and Natasha together. Well, I’ve got to say I’m impressed. Overall, Claiming His One-Night Baby is fast-paced, well-written and emotionally charged. I loved it! 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

Protecting His Defiant Innocent (Bound to a Billionaire #1) by Michelle Smart

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Tempted by her billionaire protector… 

Traveling to a dangerous Caribbean island to continue her late brother’s charitable work, Francesca Pellegrini finds herself under the protection of security tycoon Felipe Lorenzi. Independent Francesca is infuriated by his commands, but Felipe’s every look invites her to give up her innocence to him…

With his body and heart as hard as stone after his military career, Felipe has no time for Francesca’s seductive games. Until this captivating young woman entices him beyond all measure, and this lone wolf decides to throw away his strict rules and take her as his own! 

Review

Francesca Pellegrini’s love for Pieta, her now deceased brother has her following in his footsteps. She sets out to the Caribbean to help Caballeros, an island ravaged by natural disaster. What she hadn’t expected however, is to have security tycoon, Felipe Lorenzi protecting her. She doesn’t need a bodyguard, unless he’s ready to cool the fire he’s ignited within her! I’m obsessed with Michelle Smart’s books, which by the way are perfect escape reads. Fast-paced, sexy and helluva hot, you just can’t get enough. Protecting His Defiant Innocent, book one of the author’s Bound to a Billionaire trilogy, swept me away. The story is beautiful and the character driven plot layers drama on top of drama, which I love. Francesca is the perfect heroine. She is smart, strong and gorgeous. Her personality is striking and the way she stands up for things she believes in only makes you love her more. Felipe is just wow! He’s the epitome of an alpha male. He’s tall, dark, handsome, rich with a heart made of gold. I savored his and Francesca’s journey toward their happy ending. It’s a bumpy ride at times for these two but their strength and their commitment in making their relationship work only makes the ending worthy and satisfying. All I can say is, Protecting His Defiant Innocent is a flawless, sexy and sophisticated read that dazzles from start to end. 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

Conveniently Engaged to the Boss by Ellie Darkins

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From assistant to fiance! Joss Dawson knows the one thing that will make his dying father happy is to see his son find lovethe problem is, he’s sworn off love forever! But the answer’s simple! Asking his father’s fiercely intelligent, beautiful assistant Eva to play the perfect rolehis fiance. Only for Eva it’s not that easy Pretending to be Joss’s fiance threatens to ruin the life she’s worked so hard for! And how will she keep her head when she’s losing her heart to her frustratingly attractive new boss?

Review

Ellie Darkins writing in Conveniently Engaged to the Boss is pure perfection. The story oozed with a sensuality that makes you swoon and kudos to the author for bringing this book to life with such clarity. I loved every bit of Joss and Eva’s journey! 

Joss will do anything to put a smile on his dying father’s lips. Proposing to the beautiful Eva makes his father happy. Except the deception behind the charade he’d concocted haunts Eva. However, spending excess time with Joss leaves her with a heart on the verge of melting. She’s mad for Joss. But will her feelings be reciprocated? Find out in Ellie Darkins fabulous new release!

Highly Recommended
5 Stars 

A Priceless Find by Kate James

35067084Who says opposites can’t find love? 

A robbery followed by the discovery of a forgery at a respected art gallery thrusts Chelsea Owens into the center of an investigation headed by Detective Sam Eldridge. The instant chemistry between the high-spirited aspiring curator and the tall, dark, brooding cop is a classic case of opposites attract. 

Complications arise when Chelsea uncovers a connection to an unsolved art heist. Teaming up with Sam to find the stolen paintings ignites feelings that could lead to lasting love. But Sam isn’t ready to move beyond the tragedy in his past, no matter how promising his future with Chelsea could be…

Review

There is not one book I’ve read by Kate James that I haven’t enjoyed from beginning to end. A Priceless Find is a story that is deeply rooted in love and commitment. There is a touch of suspense/mystery to spice things up. The main characters snatch your attention from page one. What I loved most about the story is the positive energy that Chelsea and Sam possess. They are hard-working, gentle souls you instantly fall for. Kate James’ writing is flawless, vivid and beautiful. There wasn’t one moment that I haven’t found entertaining. 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

Valdez’s Bartered Bride by Rachael Thomas

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Blackmailed into marriage…by Christmas! 

Genealogist Lydia Carter-Wilson is horrified by the debts her father has run up in her name. Then magnate Raul Valdez approaches her with an outrageous proposition. If she helps him claim his inheritance, he’ll pay off her debts and save her tarnished reputation. But there’s a catch. If she fails, she will marry Raul on Christmas Eve! No matter their instant and electrifying attraction, Lydia knows Raul’s proposal amounts to blackmail. Yet faced with an impossible choice–risking ruin or becoming Raul’s bartered bride–Lydia finds she cannot resist her desire to make a deal with the dark-hearted billionaire!

Review

Rachael Thomas’s writing gets better with each new book she adds to her name. What happens when an enigma of a man meets his match in a fierce and headstrong woman? Sparks fly of course! Valdez’s Bartered Bride is exotic as much as it is smoldering hot and intense. I savored Raul and Lydia’s interactions and couldn’t get enough of the author’s spellbinding writing as each character came alive with unique vividness. I clamored onto every page like fiend and at last when the ending zoomed in, I was wholly satisfied. 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

His Majesty’s Temporary Bride ( The Princess Seductions #1) by Annie West

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Out of the shadows… 

As the illegitimate secret daughter of royalty, Cat’s life has been far from luxurious. After years of bullying, she’s set against a return to her childhood home. But her princess half sister has mysteriously disappeared ahead of her engagement to charismatic King Alexander. 

…into the bed of the king! 

Cat agrees to stand in for her–but she didn’t agree to the electric attraction between her and Alex! He might have no idea who she really is–but when their insatiable desire threatens to strip away every boundary between them, Cat cannot hold back from the temptation of Alex’s caress.

Review

His Majesty’s Temporary Bride, the first book in Annie West’s new duet, The Princess Seductions, is simply breathtaking. There is a perfect balance between angst, seduction and drama to keep you engrossed. Compelling from page one, His Majesty’s Temporary Bride follows the journey between King Alexander, the enigmatic hero and Cat, a tough-as-nails bodyguard cum illegitimate princess and the heroine who’ll make this king weak in the knees. I loved how the author incorporated sparkly prose; scintillating chemistry and taut dialogue which keep the pacing of the story on a constant roll. I was also mesmerized by the layering of the backstories. It made the story enjoyable. Also the world building felt so realistic and the characters propelled the story forward.

Alex is broody, sexy and ridiculously rich and he doesn’t mind pushing the boundaries to suit his liking. I wouldn’t say I adored him every minute of the book, but he’s charming and hilarious when he wants to be. Cat on the other hand is a breath of fresh air. Her unique personality makes you root for her instantly. Her emotional back-story is something else. She isn’t someone who’d want you to pity her. But the lemons life has tossed her way makes your heart stir for her. Honestly, I adored her!

What I liked about His Majesty’s Temporary Bride:

1. The world building. I pictured Bengria in my mind throughout reading this book. Annie West sure does know a thing or two about adding spark to her fictional kingdoms.
2. The writing—it oozes with beauty.
3. The dialogue—Heated. Passionate. Engaging.
4. The characters—they drove the story forward with their antics.
5. The plot—character driven from start to finish.
6. The ending—wow, beautiful. All that angst, drama, and passion whittles down to a swoon-worthy end!

Overall, His Majesty’s Temporary Bride by Annie West is excellence to the highest. I swooned over almost every scene where Alex and Cat locked horns. The story reminded me of the good old classic Harlequin Presents from the early 2000’s and I couldn’t get enough of it! Now I can’t wait to read Princess Amelie’s love story in, The Greek’s Forbidden Princess, the second book in the duet.

Highly Recommended
5 Stars

The CEO’s Nanny Affair by Joss Wood

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Sexy single-dad billionaire meets temporary nanny… 

When Tate Harper’s sister disappears, the globe-trotting TV host is suddenly the caregiver for her infant niece. She has to find her sister ASAP! Enter single father and sexy CEO Linc Ballantyne, her sister’s ex. He’s a family man to the core, and he’ll help Tate–if she agrees to be his temporary live-in nanny. Soon she’s juggling a baby, a toddler and a growing attraction to the billionaire Ballantyne. But when it’s time to go back to her real life, will she pack her bags or stay and find out what being a family really means? 

Review

Who knew being a nanny to your niece and employed by a billionaire daddy could be fun and explosive? Leave it up to Joss Wood to transform a common storyline into a sexy, intense and oh so passionate tale. There is something intriguing about two people finding love with a little help from a tiny tot. Joss Wood’s writing in The CEO’s Nanny Affair is taut and vibrant…and I enjoyed every word of it! Tate is attracted to her niece’s father and she has a feeling that the emotions are reciprocated. But could she risk giving her heart to a man who has his under lock and key?

Recommended
4 Stars

A Fortunes of Texas Christmas by Helen Lacey

20770069_10203243841333487_6579181647717231060_nOOH-LA-LA! A FRENCH FORTUNE! 

The Yuletide season brings something tres magnifique to Austin, Texas, in the form of sexy French entrepreneur Amersen Beaudin. The sexy but standoffish playboy has zero interest in meeting his newly discovered Fortune relatives, least of all the man who is his biological father. 

But when matriarch Kate Fortune dangles an all-too-attractive business proposition, he is too intrigued to stay away. And once he meets Kate’s beautiful gardener, Robin Harbin, he starts to rethink his holiday plans… A spicy affair with the blonde, blue-eyed Texan is now at the top of Amersen’s wish list. 

But all Robin wants for Christmas is the flirty Parisian’s heart and soul. Can she convince him that love–and family–can lead to a joyeux Noel?

Review

Amersen is in Texas for business. He has a meeting with the matriarch of the Fortune clan. What he doesn’t expect is to be acknowledged for who he is…a Fortune by blood. Expecting to be in and out in twenty four hours, Amersen finds he’s drawn to the stunning Robin, the Fortune gardener. Now, he’s willing to stick around in Texas to spend more time with Robin. But is he willing to commit to a forever relationship or cut and run when he’s had his full of the Texan belle? Ms. Lacey’s previous book failed to impress me; however I can confidently say that A Fortunes of Texas Christmas hits all the right notes. The writing is flawless and the quirky characters leap off the page. Meld that with witty dialogue, descriptive narrative and a touch of French flair and you have a Hallmark perfect Christmas romance! 

Highly Recommended 
5 Stars

A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev

34845112Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world.

Tasked at fourteen-years-old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world—and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart.

As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into a black market organ ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul’s deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe—and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances. 

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart.

Review:

Sonali Dev breathes life into Kimi and Rahul. Her fluent prose evokes the turmoil, the tests of faith and the eternal magic of love and hope. Through the depths of family roots to the quiet beauty shared between the two main protagonists, we have a story with grace, charm, compassion and desires which long to be fulfilled. A Distant Heart is fast-paced and intense and the clarity with which the characters’ lives unfold will fill your heart with utter satisfaction— a thoroughly enjoyable read!

Highly Recommended
5 Stars

Healing the Sheikh’s Heart by Annie O’Neil

 

34787541A doctor for the desert king… Brooding billionaire Sheikh Idris Al Khalil wants one thing – the gift of hearing for his daughter, Amira – and he’s willing to pay anything to get it! Enter Dr Robyn Kelly, whose whirlwind approach to life sends his senses into overdrive. Now, as the tension between Paddington’s ENT Specialist and the guarded sheikh mounts, Robyn can’t help but wonder…is life in the desert with Idris and little Amira the family happy ever after she’s always dreamed of?


REVIEW:

This gorgeous book stole my heart. The writing is beautiful and visually mesmerizing. I love the way how the author enlightens Idris’ interest of Robyn Kelly the first time he set eyes on her. He is struck by the heroine and his point of view of her is refreshing. Robyn is spontaneous and just cracks me up. She is just this cool doctor who bowled me over when she first appears on the page and her cheerfulness is opposite to Idris’s broody goodness. She intrigued me the same way Idris does and I was hooked. By the way, Robyn’s assessment of Idris equals perfection. Overall, I couldn’t get enough of Healing the Sheikh’s Heart by Annie O’Neil. The characters stole my heart from the start and the reading experience was sigh-worthy. The cadence is fluid and compelling. In the end, I fell in love with Idris, Robyn, Amira and the colorful secondary cast. A great medical romance that will leave your heart in a happy place when you close the book! 

Highly Recommended
4.5 Stars

Hollywood Baby Affair by Anna DePalo

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A fake relationship leads to a real pregnancy! Only from USA TODAY bestselling author Anna DePalo! 

To protect her reputation in a dog-eat-dog town, actress Chiara Feran needs a fake fling fast! Turning to the stuntman on her latest movie, Rick Serenghetti, seems like a sure thing. But in Hollywood, things—and stuntmen—are never what they seem. Rick is actually a wealthy movie producer who stunts for kicks. And boy, is he intrigued by this latest role! But he gets more than he bargained for as the line between fantasy and reality blurs. Soon, a very real baby is on the way. Could a marriage proposal be far behind? 

Hollywood Baby Affair is part of The Serenghetti Brothers series.


REVIEW:

I connected with the characters and the overall storyline the moment I read chapter one of Hollywood Baby Affair. There’s a sparkling beauty in Anna DePalo’s writing that finds a way into your consciousness. These characters have depth and complexities which make them interesting and realistic. If I had to choose my favorite character it’ll be Rick. This little book, with its absorbing narrative has every little ingredient that kept me turning the pages—all in all, an all out winner. 

Recommended 
4 Stars

Second Chance with the CEO by Anna DePalo

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After one fake kiss, she’s crushing on the sexy CEO—again! Only from USA TODAY bestselling author Anna DePalo! 

Teacher Marisa Danieli needs a headliner for her school fund-raiser. Her best bet? Cole Serenghetti, former star hockey player turned CEO of his family’s construction empire. Sure, she had a disastrous high school crush on the guy, but business is business… 

Until it turns into funny business—and posing as a couple. This time, the feelings are red-hot and made worse by the fact that Marisa’s ex-fiancé is dating Cole’s ex-girlfriend! Is Marisa’s fund-raiser coup about to backfire, or is this second chance with the CEO the real deal?


REVIEW:

Anna DePalo writes with confidence that gains your attention from the onset. Her characters come off realistically on the page and I was impressed with the hero and heroine in this book. Second Chance with the CEO delves deep into the flawed souls of Marisa Danieli and Cole Serenghetti and the emotion that resonated with me throughout their growth from strength to strength until the last page is their will to fight for what they want. Yes, Marisa and Cole have history together and moving on had hardened them as adults. Now after a long time, their lives have collided once more and a fierce, fiery spark which still lingers between them catches afire and runs wild. Being in close proximity magnifies the intense chemistry sizzling in the air and it’s not before long Cole and Marisa find themselves in each other’s arms. Recommended? You bet! 

Recommended
4 Stars

The Prince’s Cinderella Bride by Amalie Berlin

35093710Operation Marriage…

Prince Quinton Corlow’s life was turned upside down the day his divorce was filed and his military papers were executed. Seven years later, the embittered soldier returns, only to walk straight back into his ex-wife’s life! But when Quinn discovers he’s still married to the one woman who could claim his heart, he realizes he must tackle the past for the future he wants the future Anais wants, too. But can he convince his Cinderella bride to fight for their love?


REVIEW:

Now if you’re looking for a medical romance with high drama levels, intense scenes that will sail right into your soul and deeply flawed characters whose insane lives provide non-stop entertainment then The Prince’s Cinderella Bride by Amalie Berlin is the book for you. This royalty themed story is refreshing, absorbing and the perfect escape from real life. I couldn’t put the book down. I was intrigued by the plot as I met Anais Corlow aka Dr. Anna Kincaid and Prince Quinton Corlow. These two have a thing going on that create waves of emotion and drama that only left me swiftly turning the pages to see how their relationship issues turn out. They should’ve been divorced but they aren’t so now Quinton will do everything in his power to prove to his wife that they still belong to each. Their sizzling attraction proves the fire between them hadn’t been doused. Overall, The Prince’s Cinderella Bride by Amalie Berlin is a wonderful story that emphasizes the fact that with a little hard work, love can grow wings through trying times. 

Recommended 
4 Stars

Double Exposure by Elizabeth Goddard

36233890Exposed and on the run . . . 

Epidemiologist Tara Blackburn is investigating an illness in an African village when rapid gunfire and mercenaries change her world. She barely escapes with her life. What she witnesses terrifies her and she flees, taking refuge where no one will find her until she knows whom she can trust.

When Grant McCall arrives on the scene, he knows Tara is wary. But he can’t reveal that he’s working undercover to learn who’s behind the carnage in Africa. An image surfaced that exposed the truth—The epidemiologist believed dead had survived, like a ghost image in a double exposure on film exposed to light.

The killers will stop at nothing to find the woman who witnessed their crimes. But even more deadly is the illness to which she was exposed. 


REVIEW:

Wow, I didn’t want this book to end! The storyline is riveting, absorbing and all out entertaining. Chapter after chapter craftily kept me on the edge of my seat. The danger, the suspense, the rippling tension soared off the pages. Elizabeth Goddard has another winner on her hands. Double Exposure is pure gold. Dr. Tara is on the run when she witnesses a village burnt, and people close to her murdered by a man she knows. Now it is up to her to bring justice to the criminals who took the lives of these innocent people. Her journey will leave you utterly perplexed as to how she’ll fare in this ruthless power play! 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

In the Boss’s Bed by J. Margot Critch

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Hot for the boss…

Maya Connor was already embarrassed after a dare—and a shot of vodka—resulted in one seriously sexy kiss with an even sexier stranger. She had no idea that the man she made out with was hotel magnate and reputed playboy Jamie Sellers. Or that she would soon be working for him…

Maya won’t let anything get in the way of her ambition. And she’s determined to be taken seriously as she begins her career—and not give in to the heat that’s constantly driving her to distraction. Lust, that’s all it is. The more Maya and Jamie ignore it, the stronger it gets. But ending up in the boss’s bed won’t just be Maya’s wickedest fantasies come to life…it’ll be the end of her dreams. 


REVIEW:

A girl’s night out turns super sexy and super hot quite quickly when sensible introvert, Maya lock lips with a super gorgeous stranger. On a dare, Maya schmooze’s the sexy Jamie Sellers and let me tell you, the sparks between them could have melted steel—wow! I really enjoyed the storyline. It’s fresh and sassy and the characters are realistically portrayed that it’s hard to imagine this is J. Margot Critch’s debut novel. Maya reminds me of me at the opening of chapter one. Her inward thoughts mirror mine. She’s twenty-five with no experience when it comes to being a social butterfly. Jamie on the other hand is the polar opposite. Back in the day he had been wild and carefree. But now, he’s a hardworking, reserved guy who the press just doesn’t get. He has dark demons in his closet but that doesn’t deter him from following his dreams. In fact, his past motivates him to be the best man that he can be. But now having Maya working for him tests his self-control. Things get intense when Jamie offers Maya a job as his assistant. It’s all professional at first but Maya and Jamie secretly have wild thoughts for each other. Eventually they act on these thoughts and boy does the air turn hot between them! Every aspect of In the Boss’s Bed is pure reading pleasure. The writing is taut and incredibly passionate. Ms. Critch makes Maya and Jamie’s journey a joy to read. There is witty dialogue, sharp inward thoughts, intense physical attraction between the hero and heroine, and also a supporting cast who add layer and depth to the story. I was hooked from the moment Maya acts on Abby’s dare! Every scene from then on is a wild frenzied war between chemistry and brains clashing head on. All in all, every word of this passionate, dramatic and intense tryst made me a contented reader! 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

In Her Best Friend’s Bed by J. Margot Critch

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She wants him so much! 

Abby Shaw has had enough. She’s done with relationships (why are guys always so needy?) and wants to focus on getting her career off the ground. The fact that Trevor Jones–her new best bud and her boss–is seriously hot shouldn’t complicate things at all. But that deliciously hard, tattooed body? A kiss that suggests hours–and nights–of wicked pleasure? Yep, Trevor is trouble…

Abby and Trevor can’t resist turning “just friends” into “friends with sexy benefits.” Which means lots of hot sex, no messy emotions. It’s the perfect arrangement–at first. But their searing sexual chemistry verges on becoming dangerously intimate…and Abby will do just about anything to keep herself from falling in love with Trevor Jones.


REVIEW:

This is my first book by J. Margot Critch and I’m so impressed with the author’s skills as a writer. Her characters are realistically portrayed and they leap off the pages. Her writing is detailed and her storytelling is fluid with a slight allegorical nuance to it and since this is a Blaze book, do expect a hint of humour, oodles of sexiness, fiery passion and boatloads of drama. Overall, Ms. Critch knows how to keep your attention.

Highly Recommended
4.5 Stars

The Cowboy’s Second-Chance Family by Jules Bennett

35270932Finding love twice in a lifetime 

When Lucy Brooks lost her husband, her dreams of a family went with him. Now her life is a busy balance of friends, work and the demands of her small ranch. When she meets handsome, brooding Noah Spencer, she recognizes the grief in his penetrating eyes. And yet she can’t deny the feelings—and hope—that he has reawakened within her. 

All widower Noah has in life is his little daughter and a fresh start as Stonerock’s newest police officer. Right now this cowboy needs to keep his life simple and his heart guarded. Yet he can’t resist the instant pull of sweet, selfless Lucy. This could be a second chance at happily-ever-after…if they can both let go of the past. 


REVIEW:

The cast of The Cowboy’s Second Chance Family by Jules Bennett stole my heart. The strong family ties, the realism in the story and the overall vivid writing stroked a chord in my heart. I savored the relationship Noah Spencer and his daughter share. They are so close and so loving to each other that I couldn’t help but sigh. Lucy is a breath of fresh air. She is strong and smart. The attraction between her and Noah is compelling. Both of them have lost their spouses and I rooted for their relationship to prosper and bloom. They deserve happiness and with Noah’s precious daughter drawing them closer, my reader instincts were satisfied when eventually they realize what’s important and dear to them—a family that’ll stand the test of time. Jules Bennett brings to light the power of family and love in her latest small-town romance. She captures the essence of losing a loved one and the journey it takes to move on and find happiness afterwards. I truly felt compassion and affection for the characters and cheered them all the way to the end. 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

The Tycoon’s Marriage Deal by Melanie Milburne

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Ruthless playboy Blake McClelland dominates in the boardroom and commands in the bedroom. So when he’s required to produce a fiancee in order to clinch the most important deal of his life, his solution is as coldhearted as Blake himself–he’ll choose a woman innocent enough to convince the world he’s a reformed man! After being jilted at the altar, shy bakery owner Matilda Toppington is in no hurry to wear another man’s ring. Blake’s cynical proposition is scandalously, shockingly outrageous–of course she should refuse! Unless Tillie dares surrender to the unknown pleasures his sinful gaze promises…


REVIEW:

All’s not perfect in Tillie’s confection sweet life. The bills are stacking up and if she doesn’t do something about them then she stands a chance of losing something precious to her heart. It has also been three months now since she’d been jilted at the altar but even those long weeks can’t make her forget her fiancée’s deceit. What she doesn’t know—as yet—is that her life will forever change when Mr. Hot Chocolate Éclair customer returns to her bakery at a time when Tillie thinks she is over men but…things don’t always turn out the way we want them to, does it? Something sparks every time this one particular man looks at her. Can she trust her body when it comes to him? Tillie is a tad shock when her hot customer introduces himself. Blake McClelland’s his name and her thoughts of him are correct. He’s a wealthy playboy. The first time they touch—a simple handshake—it’s like ‘electrifying as a high-voltage current’. Tillie soon finds out Blake is arrogant, commanding and always gets what he wants and she has every reason to defy him. The drama which unfolds is like a daytime soap opera and keeps you engrossed. Overall, The Tycoon’s Marriage Deal oozed with sensuality and a passionate rhythm which only served to satisfy my reader heart and I think this might be my favorite Melanie Milburne book of all. The story is so perfect and the flawless, expressive writing just comes to life on the page. 

Highly Recommended 
4.5 Stars

Bound by the Millionaire’s Ring by Dani Collins

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The playboy’s temporary fiancee Millionaire racing driver Ramon Sauveterre is no stranger to fame, but he’ll do just about anything to keep the spotlight off his family. Including propose a decidedly short-term engagement to his gorgeous head of PR, Isidora Garcia! Isidora cannot forgive Ramon for dragging her into this farce–just as she’ll never forgive him for the indiscretion that broke her heart. But while their relationship might be fake, the burning longing his kisses spark is all too real–and resisting Ramon’s heated touch until the end of their arrangement proves utterly impossible… 


REVIEW:

Ramon Sauveterre will do whatever it takes to protect his family even if it means fake proposing to Isidora Garcia, the daughter of Bernando, a long time family friend, who also happens to work for Sauveterre International. However, what Ramon doesn’t expect is the temptation this innocent beauty evokes from his soul. Could he risk losing his heart to Izzy? Ramon is ruthless and frustratingly uptight. I felt like boxing his ears each time he acted rudely towards Izzy. The only thought in my head during the process of reading the first few chapters is ‘make him grovel’. I wasn’t disappointed when the plot unraveled. Isidora is headstrong, independent and ferociously tough – she matches Ramon word for word. She stands up for her right every step of the way and even though she despises Ramon for his actions in the past, she is forever loyal to the rest of the Sauveterre clan. But when these two clashes it is lightning matching the roar of thunder…sparks fly amidst loud bangs. Complete that with detailed writing, exciting drama and superb family dynamics—you can’t go wrong choosing Bound by the Billionaire’s Ring! 

Recommended 
4 Stars

Bought for the Billionaire’s Revenge by Clare Connelly

33673258Sold to the ruthless tycoon! 

Innocent socialite Marnie Kenington was devastated when her parents forced her to spurn Nikos Kyriazis. She’s never forgotten him, nor his raw sensuality. So years later, when Nikos insists on a meeting, Marnie’s heart leaps…until Nikos strikes a cold, hard deal. Her family is on the verge of bankruptcy and he will rescue them–if she becomes his wife!

Marnie’s rejection drove self-made billionaire Nikos to unimaginable success. Now, he’ll take his revenge. Marnie’s poise is legendary, but he knows in the bedroom he can take her apart, piece by sensual piece…


REVIEW:

Leave it up to Clare Connelly to bring a fresh new voice to the Harlequin Presents line. Bought for the Billionaire’s Revenge is a fascinating, sexy and exotic read – one I consumed in a matter of hours. Her writing is addictive, the chemistry and sensual detail between Marnie and Nikos is red-hot and zings with sexual tension. Painting breathtaking vistas as backdrop, it’s only natural to say Ms. Connelly knows the art of making you obsess with Harlequin Presents all over again!

Highly Recommended
5 Stars

Tempted by the Bridesmaid by Annie O’Neil

35093700A woman to unlock his heart? The last time brooding Italian surgeon Luca Montovano saw bubbly heiress Francesca Martinelli was at his best friend’s failed wedding. Sparks flew then, and now she’s made a surprise appearance at his mountaintop clinic, bringing a much-needed whirlwind of laughter! Aristocratic Luca just wants to be left alone to care for his orphaned niece. The scars on his face reach right to his heart, and he’s learned to push people away. Until Fran forces him to see the world through her eyes! 


REVIEW:

Francesca Martinelli is a bridesmaid at her best friend, Princess Beatrice’s wedding though what she knows about the groom has enough strength to create quite a stir. But all Fran wants is to see her dearest friend happy…even if that means ending one of Italy’s most powerful, media covered weddings. Marco may be me handsome, wealthy and a prince but he has no shame. 

Meanwhile, Luca and Francesca are secretly attracted to each other but due to circumstances in the beginning reign back their feelings. All that matters at that point is their best friend. However, over the course of the story the plot thickens and things get shaken up a bit. 

What really drew me into the story is the captivating tug-o-war of emotions raging between Luca and Fran amidst the backdrop of medical drama. Their romance is slow burning and hot!

Luca has demons in his closet and even his gorgeous looks can’t hide them. The scar on his face reminds him of a tragedy which still haunts him to this day. However, what he doesn’t need in his life right now is a lying, cheating, and deceptive girlfriend. The signs had been right in front of him all this time that Marina was using him. Luca is deeply knocked up by the truth. Only now he has a chance to tell Marina what he’d been itching to tell her all along— that it’s over. His eyes are now set on Fran and he can’t deny how attracted he is to her. Fran on the other hand is funny, passionate and downright irresistible. I took a liking to her character from the onset. She is no doormat. Her strong and charming personality will make you instantly fall for her. Though she’s somewhat of an introvert when it comes to expressing her feelings, I still saw a part of her that is striking and pleasing. Beautiful and detailed writing ensures that you are a satisfied reader after you close the book. Overall, Tempted by the Bridesmaid by Annie O’Neil is a dramatically entertaining read! 

Recommended 
4 Stars

Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress by Lara Temple

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Betrothed…to the wrong man!

Building a life away from her bullying family, schoolmistress Helen Tilney now needs to convince her childhood sweetheart she’s a worthy bride. Standing in her way is Lord Hunter—the man Nell has just discovered she’s betrothed to! 

Hunter’s offer of marriage to Nell came out of guilt, and now seems less than appealing! So when she asks for his help to win another man, he agrees. Until their lessons in flirtation inspire a raging desire that has Hunter longing to keep Nell for himself… 

Book 1 in the Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies trilogy


REVIEW:

I adored this story the moment I turned to chapter one. Nell is sweet, kind-hearted with a bit of wit beneath her flamboyant flair. Her first thoughts of Lord Hunter in the opening scene made me smile. The story is fast-paced, the writing is beautiful, the plot grabs you and doesn’t let go, and the characters have so much depth—right down to Elkins—the stable hand. Each character plays a vital part in making this book unputdownable. I was mesmerized. Every detail warmed my heart. In fact, the fluent, lush prose took my mind off reality. It swept me away and I was hooked. Lara Temple makes sure she keeps your attention by putting her characters in challenging or sometimes hilarious situations that leave you psychologically satisfied. There is a humorous undertone to the plot which I savored. Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress is another wonderful story that helped me through a tough period in my life. All in all, Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress by Lara Temple is a beautiful, charming and passionate story. Its uniqueness is evident in every scene and I relished every word. So go grab yourself a copy. You most definitely will not regret it!

Highly Recommended
5 Stars