Tuesday, December 30, 2014

DUTY by Rachel Rossano


ABOUT THE BOOK

Duty to King

Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.

Duty to Others

Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?

Duty to Each Other

Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.

REVIEW

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Brielle and Tomas won me over immediately as they learn to know each other while facing some immensely difficult challenges.  Soon after leaving her village with her new husband in search of a solution to the looming winter they face with inadequate supplies, the village is taken over by a robber baron and Brielle's treacherous cousin.  She is left behind at Tomas's other holding while Tomas goes back to rescue the village not realizing that Brielle will soon face betrayal and be forced to flee.  Amidst all this commotion, Brielle struggles with her feelings for Tomas and wonders if she can trust the man. But when her loyalty to the crown is questioned she finds she has no choice but to trust him.  I think what I enjoyed the most about the story was how the relationship between Tomas and Brielle developed.  I enjoyed reading about their interactions.  I also prefer my herioines to be willing to stand up for themselves rather than always depending on rescue.  While Brielle ends up needing a great deal of help, she also does a great deal to help Tomas and herself.  I found the book compelling and hard to put down and I thoroughly recommend it. The book is clean of bad language and immorality, though there is one intimate scene that fades to black after a kiss, so nothing offensive here, which I always find refreshing and since the characters are married I was more than okay with it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Rough Around the Edges meets Refined by Rachel Anderson

Rough Around the Edges
Source: author for review for blog tour (THANKS!)
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall. Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.  

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RachaelABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.




REVIEW

Another winner from Rachael Anderson!  I really love her books.  Her characters are so easy to like and care about and they feel so real, with real problems and strengths as well as weaknesses.  Cassie and Noah both have their own wounds to deal with that make them reluctant to falling in love again, but sometimes life just happens despite our best efforts to resist it.  I have to say that one of the things I love most about Rachael's books are the interactions between her characters, they are so fun to read. In this book, I especially enjoyed seeing Noah interact with his daughters.  Despite the loss of his wife and his job troubles, he still takes the time to love and care for his daughters to the best of his ability.  Would that all children had such fathers!  And yet, children need mothers too, something that Noah struggles with  since he has no desire to date.  Cassie on the other hand was burned badly by her marriage and is afraid to trust what she sees in Noah. Overall, another delightful clean romance by a fabulous author that I just couldn't put down.


Rough Around the Edges


 
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$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

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Ends 1/19/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Snow Angels by Lezlie Anderson


ABOUT THE BOOK

A winter storm, a family, and an idea for a service project all add up to a delightful Christmas surprise! When Mom and Dad suggest serving their neighbors for the holiday, their kids can’t stop grumbling. But as they secretly shovel snow, their attitudes change, and soon the parents can’t get the kids to stop serving. Share the joys of serving others in this wonderful Christmas pamphlet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lezlie Anderson has loved books since she learned to read at age four. She and her sisters used their wild imaginations playing in their backyard as princesses to being attacked by giant grasshoppers. The first books she remembers loving are “My Father’s Dragon” and “The Trouble with Miss Switch.”

Lezlie is married to a wonderful man, Steve, and they have three great children, 3 crazy cats, one tortoise, and a fish that has survived more hazards than should be possible. She loves chocolate, Dr. Pepper, and anything that her husband BBQ’s.

REVIEW

Snow Angels is a short Christmas story about the joy of serving one's neighbors.  While the family isn't exactly thrilled when they start the project, but after seeing the pleasure their snow shoveling efforts bring, they really get into it.  This pamphlet showcases just what I love most about Christmas time, the love of Jesus Christ, which unfortunately tends to get lost in the commercialism of the holiday.  This would be a great story to share to remind us of the reason for the season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BLOG TOUR W/GIVEAWAY: Meow If It's Murder by T.C. LoTempio

Meow if its murder


Meow if its murder
MEOW IF IT'S MURDER
by L.C. LoTempio

ABOUT THE BOOK

Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them… Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too. Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.


Toni

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She lists among her favorite mystery/suspense writers Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson, as well as EJ Copperman, Steve Hockensmith, Victoria Laurie, Ali Brandon, Rita Mae Brown, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly to name only a few! Toni is also passionate about her love for animals, as demonstrated with her four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and, of course, ROCCO, who not only provided the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat in the Nick and Nora mystery series, but who also writes his own blog and does charity work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read! Toni’s also devoted to miniseries like The Thorn Birds, Dancing with the Stars, reruns of Murder She Wrote and Castle (of course!). She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuts Dec. 2, 2014. She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.


Praise for the Book "Meow if it's Murder is an absolute delight and Nick and Nora make a purr-fect mystery-solving team. ! I couldn't put it down!" --Michelle Rowen, national bestselling author

“Meow If It's Murder is delightful! Readers will love the mystery and charming cat. You don't want to miss this new series” –Rose Pressey, USA Today Bestselling Author

"Nick and Nora are a winning team. The crafty feline manages to stay one paw ahead of his new owner - and the criminals in Cruz, California." –Rebecca Hale, NY Times Bestselling Author

"Namesakes Nick the cat and Nora the deli owner can teach Hammett’s amateur detective duo a thing or two. Meow if It’s Murder is a fast-paced cozy mystery spiced with a dash of romance and topped with a big slice of “cat-itude.” Enjoy!" ~Ali Brandon, NY Times Bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries

"Nick and Nora are the purrfect sleuthy duo!" – Victoria Laurie, NY Times Bestselling author of the Psychic Eye Mystery Series

REVIEW

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to finish this book yet, however, I have enjoyed what I've read so far.  I admit that I am a fan of cozy mysteries where the characters live a fairly normal life except for the murder part.  I guess that makes them seem more real to me.  Anyway, I like Nora, she's a pleasant character with a strong dose of curiosity which makes her a good match for Nick, the cat that adopts her.  The book reminds me a bit of The Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun, which I also loved, so I figured I would probably like it.  The only thing I haven't liked so far is that there is some swearing.

Now that I've finished the book, I can say that I liked it quite a bit.  I loved Nick the cat and the way he helped Nora solve the mystery.  I found the amount of swearing disappointing, but I enjoyed the book anyway.  A nice cozy mystery with recipes included at the back for those who enjoy cooking (not me).


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$25 BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/29/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CLEAN ROMANCE FAVORITE: LADY EMMA'S CAMPAIGN by Jennifer Moore


ABOUT THE BOOK

The London Season is ushered in with a thrilling flurry of invitations, gowns, and parties. But despite her status as belle of the ball, lovely socialite Emma Drake simply cannon fathom becoming entangled with any gentleman of her acquaintance. For, in truth, since childhood, her heart has belonged to Captain Sidney Fletcher, a man of the sea—and her brother's best friend.

Emma knew Sidney's directive to free the Spanish city of Cadiz from French occupation would be dangerous, but when word arrives of his capture, she is frantic. Determined to aid her brother in Sidney's rescue, she hides aboard her brother's ship and sets a course to Spain. But the realities of war are a far cry from the drawing rooms of London, and Emma finds the man she loves a mere shadow of his former self. When a series of events leaves them trapped together behind enemy lines, Emma and Sidney must embark on a journey fraught with danger—from a bloody hunt for Spanish treasure to the battlefields of war-torn Spain, new threats lurk around every turn. As their flight becomes increasingly perilous, Sidney and Emma must trust each other with their lives—but can they trust each other with their hearts?

REVIEW

As I have thought about just what I wanted to say about this book, I've pondered just what makes this such a great read.  The characters? Definitely,  Emma and Sidney appealed to me very much in terms of making me cheer for them and smile at them.  The plot? The plot moves along at a brisk pace but never did I feel like it was too fast or too slow.  I didn't find any plot holes that bugged me.  The realistic nature of the setting made me sincerely grateful to never have been in a war zone.  I would never want to experience the things that Emma and Sidney and their friends do.  The nightmares and horrible memories that they have to deal with are portrayed in a realistic and believable way.  The author does an amazing job of helping the reader get a glimpse at what war was really like at the time.  Which does mean of course that there are some really unpleasant scenes where Emma sees men die in horrible ways.  Thankfully these scenes while powerful are brief.

I think one of the things that love most about the book is how the author manages to create such a complete story with depth in only 200 pages.  The writing is clear and easy to follow making for quite a quick read, but it's a read that will leave you wanting more as it did me.  This is definitely one of the best books I've read this year. If you enjoy historical romances I can heartily recommend this one.  Although because of the setting there is violence experienced by the characters.


 
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