Tuesday, March 31, 2015

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books Recently Added to My To-Read List

Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

For this topic, I decided to focus on books that I have recently added to my wishlist.  I currently do not own any of these books, but I have just discovered them and want to share them with everybody else!

Trust The Focus (In Focus #1)
1. Trust the Focus by Megan Ericksen (male/male contemporary)
Based on a review by Smexybooks.

The Girl on the Train
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (psychological thriller)
I'm not usually into thrillers, but I want to try the audio based on a friend's recommendation.

Black Dog
3. Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier (urban fantasy)
I found this when I was hunting for urban fantasies that aren't part of a series.

The Queen's Pawn
4. The Queen's Pawn by Christy English (historical fiction)
Tells the story of Princess Alais of France, ward of Eleanor of Acquitaine.

I'll Meet You There
5. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (YA contemporary)
Added after Quinn reviewed it at Quinn's Book Nook.

Fitzpatrick's War
6. Fitzpatrick's War by Theodore Judson (science fiction)
Based on a recommendation from a co-worker.

Royal Date
7. Royal Date by Sariah Wilson (NA contemporary)
Added because I enjoyed Wilson's debut, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back.

Beyond the Sunrise
8. Beyond the Sunrise by Mary Balogh (historical romance)
A re-release from one of my favorite HR authors.

Rakes And Radishes
9. Rakes and Radishes by Susanna Ives (historical romance)
Based on this review at All About Romance plus the title makes me giggle.

A Single Kiss (Sweetest Kisses, #1)
10. A Single Kiss by Grace Burrowes (NA contemporary)
The contemporary debut of a historical romance author whom I've heard good things about.

Monday, March 30, 2015

REVIEW: "The Courtesan Duchess" by Joanna Shupe

The Courtesan Duchess (Wicked Deceptions, #1)
The Courtesan Duchess by Joanna Shupe
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Zebra -- Published on March 31, 2015
eARC, 352 pages
Read in March 2015
Received from Netgalley

How to seduce an estranged husband—and banish debt!—in four wickedly improper, shockingly pleasurable steps...

1. Learn the most intimate secrets of London’s leading courtesan.
2. Pretend to be a courtesan yourself, using the name Juliet Leighton.
3. Travel to Venice and locate said husband.
4. Seduce husband, conceive an heir, and voilĂ , your future is secure!

For Julia, the Duchess of Colton, such a ruse promises to be foolproof. After all, her husband has not bothered to lay eyes on her in eight years, since their hasty wedding day when she was only sixteen. But what begins as a tempestuous flirtation escalates into full-blown passion—and the feeling is mutual. Could the man the Courtesan Duchess married actually turn out to be the love of her life.

"The first time that the Duchess of Colton saw her husband since their hasty marriage, she found him seated at a card table with a buxom woman draped across his lap, her legs dangled over the side of his chair."

I received a free copy of this book from Zebra via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am always excited to read a debut author especially in historical romance.  That is why I requested Joanna Shupe's The Courtesan Duchess, book one in the Wicked Deceptions series.  While there issues that effected my overall enjoyment of the story, I saw a lot of potential and am excited to follow Ms. Shupe's career.

Julia and Nick's story is a theme that I am always intrigued by: aftermath of a marriage of convenience.  They were married eight years ago, but Nick abandoned Julia immediately after the ceremony and hasn't seen her since.  After finding herself in a difficult financial state, Julia decides she needs an heir to insure her future and makes a plan to seduce her husband.  She asks for assistance from a courtesan and travels to Venice in disguise.  Of course, things get complicated when Julia begins to fall for her husband and he with the mysterious "Juliet".

I really enjoyed the premise and Julia.  She is in a difficult situation back in London and, while I'm not usually a fan of deceit, I understand how desperate she was.  Of course, it helped that she felt guilty about the whole thing from the moment she got to Venice.  I am always appreciative when characters have flaws and acknowledge them.  I had a harder time with Nick.  It is obvious that we aren't supposed to like him at the beginning, but I'm not sure if he ever groveled enough for my taste.  His treatment of Julia was pretty bad and I found myself unsure about whether he truly was sorry.

Despite my problems with the character of Nick, I did find that I couldn't put this book down.  I had to know how it would end so I guess that's a good sign of Joanna Shupe's writing style.  The end was pretty melodramatic with a mystery that I didn't think needed to be in there.  But, I am intrigued enough by the side characters that seem to be angling for their own book to continue with the series.


1. The Courtesan Duchess
2. The Harlot Countess (Coming April 2015)
3. The Lady Hellion (Coming May 2015)

Sunday, March 29, 2015


A list of new releases that grabbed my attention for the coming month. As always, release dates are subject to change.

The Royal We 
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan 
Contemporary Romance -- April 7th
Love the Go Fug Yourself blog and am interested to see Heather and Jessica's fiction writing.

The Duke and the Lady in Red (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #3)
The Duke and the Lady in Red (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #3) by Lorraine Heath
Historical Romance -- April 28th
Love the St. James parents and children.  I'm excited to see Avendale get his own story.

The Eternity Key (Into the Dark, #2)
The Eternity Key (Into the Dark #2) by Bree Despain
Young Adult Paranormal -- April 28th
I enjoyed the first in this series (The Shadow Princeinspired by the Persephone/Hades and Eurydice/Orpheus myths.  I have an ARC of this book.

Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt, #1)
Carry the Ocean (Roosevelt #1) by Heidi Cullinan
Male/Male Contemporary -- April 7th
Nobody can compete with Cullinan when it comes to emotional, but sweet m/m romance.  I have an ARC of this book.

Omega City (Omega City, #1)
Omega City (Omega City #1) by Diana Peterfreund
Middle Grade Fantasy -- April 28th
A fun-sounding story with conspiracy theories, rockets, and a mysterious doomsday bunker from the author of For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea.  I have an ARC of this book.

Crushed (Redemption, #2)
Crushed (Redemption #2) by Lauren Layne
New Adult Contemporary -- April 14th
I loved the first Redemption book and liked the second.  I'm looking forward to Michael getting his happy ending.  I have an ARC of this book.

The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions, #2)
The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions #2) by Joanna Shupe
Historical Romance -- April 28th
This book involves a female political cartoonist and her favorite person to attack...a rising Parliamentary star.  I have an ARC of this book.

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)
Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1) by Jennifer Estep
Young Adult Paranormal -- April 28th
New from the author of the Mythos Academy series.  Focuses on family feuds and magical powers.

The Boy Most Likely To
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Young Adult Contemporary -- April 14th
I liked My Life Next Door and am ready to return to the world of the Garrett family.

Wrong About the Guy
Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik
Young Adult Contemporary -- April 21st
Author of Epic Fail and The Last Best Kiss takes on another classic Austen, Emma.

Royally Ever After
Royally Ever After by Loretta Chase
Historical Romance -- April 7th
One of the best HR writers out there with two novellas from previously released anthologies.

Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn, #1)
Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1) by Lori Goldstein 
Young Adult Fantasy -- April 28th
I've never read a YA book with genies so I'm intrigued.  I have an ARC of this book.

Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay, #7)
Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay #7) by Anne Tenino
Male/Male Contemporary -- April 13th
Another in this adorable series about a small town invaded by a television shoot.

The Shattered Court (A Novel of the Four Arts, #1)
The Shattered Court (A Novel of Four Arts #1) by M.J. Scott
Young Adult Fantasy -- April 28th
Interesting premise with witches, political intrigue, and the disruption of tradition.

A Dance with Danger (Rebels and Lovers)
A Dance with Danger (Tang Dynasty #5) by Jeannie Lin
Historical Romance -- April 21st
Lin's Chinese-set historicals are a breath of fresh air and I always enjoy them.  I have an ARC of this book.

The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13)
The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13) by JR Ward
Paranormal Romance -- April 7th
I'm a few books behind on this series.  I'm still interested, but am more hesitant than I used to be.

Things We Know by Heart
Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
Young Adult Contemporary -- April 21st
I haven't read anything by this author, but I know she is a favorite of many.  I have an ARC of this book.

Attraction (Elements of Chemistry, #1)
Attraction (Elements of Chemistry #1) by Penny Reid
New Adult Contemporary -- April 9th
Reid's adult romances are smart and hilarious so I'm sure this series will be no different.

An Ember in the Ashes
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Young Adult Fantasy -- April 28th
Inspired by ancient Rome with an undercover heroine and a soldier planning his desertion?  I'm sold!!

Lady Sarah's Sinful Desires (Secrets at Thorncliff Manor, #1)
Lady Sarah's Sinful Desires (Secrets at Thornhill Manor #1) by Sophie Barnes
Historical Romance -- April 28th
Sounds like my type of historical with secrets, beautiful estates, and heroes hunting for brides.

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)
The Girl at Midnight (Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Grey
Young Adult Paranormal -- April 28th
A beautiful cover with an equally intriguing premise: an ancient people with feathers in their hair and the journey for a mythical being known as the Firebird.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


A great feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get to feature the new books they received over the past week.

The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire (Half-Moon Hollow, #3)
The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire (Half-Moon Hollow #3) by Molly Harper
In the next book in Molly Harper’s beloved Half Moon Hollow paranormal romance series, Gigi starts her first job (at Vampire Headquarters), gets over her first love, and may even fall for her first vampire!

Gigi is no longer an innocent teen. All grown up and looking for love, her family and friends worry she’ll go for the sexy, alluring vampire instead of a nice, safe human. But sexy and alluring, with a penchant for biting, could be just what Gigi wants...

Moonlight On My Mind (Second Sons, #3)
Moonlight on My Mind (Second Sons #3) by Jennifer McQuiston
Eleven months ago, Julianne’s statement to the authorities wrongly implicated Patrick, the new Earl of Haversham, in his older brother’s death. The chit is as much trouble as her red hair suggests, and just as captivating. Now she has impetuously tracked him to the wilds of Scotland, insisting that he return home to face a murder charge and save his family from ruin. A clandestine wedding may be the only way to save her reputation—and his neck from the hangman’s noose.

Julianne has no objection to the match. More and more she’s convinced of Patrick’s innocence, though when it comes to igniting her passions, the man is all too guilty. And if they can only clear his name, a marriage made in haste could bring about the most extraordinary pleasure…

Her Highland Fling (Second Sons, #2.5)
Her Highland Fling (Second Sons #2.5) by Jennifer McQuiston
William MacKenzie has always been protective of his Scottish village. When Moraig's economy falters, he has the perfect solution to lure wealthy Londoners to this tiny hamlet: resurrect the ancient Highland Games! But for this to work, William knows he needs a reporter to showcase the town in just the right light.

A female journalist might be a tolerated oddity in Brighton, but newly minted reporter Penelope Tolbertson is discovering that finding respect in London is a far more difficult prospect. After receiving an invitation to cover Moraig's Highland Games, Penelope is determined to prove to her London editors just how valuable she can be.

Penelope instantly captures William's heart, but she is none too impressed with the gruff, broody Highlander; however, as she begins to understand his plans, Penelope discovers she may want more from him than just a story. She's only got a few days … but maybe a few days are all they need.

Lady Windermere's Lover (The Wild Quartet, #3)
Lady Windermere's Lover (Wild Quartet #3) by Miranda Neville
Damian, Earl of Windermere, rues the day he drunkenly gambled away his family's estate and was forced into marriage to reclaim it. Now, after hiding out from his new bride for a year, Damian is finally called home, only to discover that his modest bride has become an alluring beauty—and rumor has it that she's taken a lover. Damian vows to keep his wife from straying again, but to do so he must seduce her—and protect his heart from falling for the wife he never knew he wanted.

Lady Cynthia never aspired to be the subject of scandal. But with her husband off gallivanting across Persia, what was a lady to do? Flirting shamelessly with his former best friend seemed like the perfect revenge . . . except no matter how little Damian deserves her loyalty, Cynthia can't bring herself to be unfaithful. But now that the scoundrel has returned home, Cynthia isn't about to forgive his absence so easily—even if his presence stirs something in her she'd long thought dead and buried. He might win her heart . . . if he can earn her forgiveness!


I READ... 
The Courtesan Duchess by Joanna Shupe
Lights, Camera, Cupid by Riptide Publishing

Friday, March 27, 2015


Hosted by The Book Nympho or Hot Listens.

The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2015 than you did in 2014.  Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)  ANY genres count.

I'm a little behind on my goals at this point.  I'm hoping to pick it up and listen to at least two books a month to catch up.


Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
1. Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews; Narrated by Renee Raudman (urban fantasy)

Creation in Death (In Death, #25)
2. Creation in Death (In Death #25) by JD Robb; Narrated by Susan Ericksen (romantic suspense)

Strangers in Death (In Death, #26)
3. Strangers in Death (In Death #26) by JD Robb; Narrated by Susan Ericksen (romantic suspense)


The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire (Half-Moon Hollow, #3)
The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire (Half-Moon Hollow #3) by Molly Harper; Narrated by Amanda Ronconi (paranormal romance)

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Happy Thursday, everyone! This is a new feature hosted by Buried Under Romance and Love Saves the World.

What is Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition?
Traditionally, Throwback Thursday celebrates nostalgia, asking participants to post a personal photo or an image from their past -- usually from 5 to 10 years ago. There are a lot of book blogs that also do a book-related Throwback Thursday.  Since Tin and Mary C. are unapologetic lovers of historical romances, they've decided to focus on this beloved genre.

Here are the rules:
1. It must be posted on a Thursday.
2. It must be a historical romance novel published before October 2008.


The Duke (Knight Miscellany, #1)
The Duke (Knights Miscellany #1) by Gaelen Foley
Originally published in 2000

Driven to uncover the truth about the mysterious death of his ladylove, the Duke of Hawkscliffe will go to any lengths to unmask a murderer. Even if it means jeopardizing his reputation by engaging in a scandalous affair with London's most provocative courtesan--the desirable but aloof Belinda Hamilton.

Bel has used her intelligence and wit to charm the city's titled gentlemen, while struggling to put the pieces of her life back together. She needs a protector, so she accepts Hawk's invitation to become his mistress in name only. He asks nothing of her body, but seeks her help in snaring the same man who shattered her virtue. Together they tempt the unforgiving wrath of society--until their risky charade turns into a dangerous attraction, and Bel must make a devastating decision that could ruin her last chance at love. . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ANTHOLOGY REVIEW: "Lights, Camera, Cupid" by Riptide Publishing

Lights, Camera, Cupid (A Bluewater Bay Valentine's Day Anthology; Bluewater Bay #6)
Lights, Camera, Cupid by S.E. Jakes, Amy Lane, Anne Tenino, Z.A. Maxfield, and L.A. Witt
(Bluewater Bay #6)

Goodreads -- Amazon

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Male/Male Romance -- Contemporary

Riptide Publishing -- Published in February 2015
eARC, 226 pages
Read in March 2015
Received from Netgalley

Anthology, Small Town Setting

Cupid is visiting Bluewater Bay, and he’s leaving chaos in his wake.

Nothing’s been the same in this sleepy little logging town since Hollywood came to shoot the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing—especially Valentine’s Day.

I received a free copy of this book from Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have been thoroughly enjoying my journey through Bluewater Bay, Washington, a small town that was invaded by Hollywood as the shooting location for a popular paranormal detective series.  It has been tons of fun to see the mix of L.A. smarts and small town values.  So now Riptide Publishing has given fans and newbies a treat by showing what happens when Valentine's Day arrives in Bluewater Bay.

"Just Another Day" by L.A. Witt
This is a sequel novella to the first book in the series, Starstruck.  Levi and Carter are one of my favorite Bluewater Bay couples and it was great to see how their relationship has developed.  In this story, Levi, who is a known Valentine's Day hater, is forced to deal with Carter's own opinions on the holiday.  I loved the character development that is shown in just a few short pages and the mature way that these two guys handled their differences.  That ending made me smile with happiness and, of course, I adored the cameos from Levi's cats, Link and Zelda. (4 STARS)

"I'll Be There" by Z.A. Maxfield
Another sequel that focuses on a favorite Bluewater Bay couple.  This time the focus shifts to Spencer and Nash from Hell on Wheels. The basic premise of this story is that Spencer is at a convention in Illinois and is overcome with his anxiety issues.  Nash is trying every way he can to get to him, but a powerful snow storm is thwarting his efforts.  This tale allowed readers to see how far Spencer has gotten with his anxiety and also gives some insight into his lack of comfort around some of his fans.  Plus it was great to see Nash's twin brother and all his geeky friends pull out the stop to help him get to Illinois. (3.5 STARS)

"No Easy Way" by S.E. Jakes
This was the longest of the stories, mostly due to the fact that it involves a new couple.  Reunion stories are always one of my favorites so I fell hard for Cary and Dylan.  I liked the way that they felt each other out, but just couldn't resist the chemistry between them.  Also, it was fun to see S.E. Jakes's military style in a small town romance. (3.5 STARS)

"Helping Hand" by Anne Tenino
When I first read this story, I was a little disappointed because we didn't get a happy ending.  But, I have since learned that Lucas and Gabriel will be getting their own story next month.  Yeah!!  What I liked best about this "falling for your brother's best friend" tale was the relationship between Lucas and his family.  His desire to go to art school and come out as gay throws his father for a loop, but things got resolved much better than I anticipated.  We get a small taste of romance, but this story is mostly about Lucas.  (3 STARS)

"Nascha" by Amy Lane
A unique story about an elderly Native American man who reminisces about his past lovers while bemoaning his battle with Alzheimer's.  Stories with the elderly always make me tear up and this was no exception.  I liked the way that the author formatted the flashbacks and also let us into Nascha's life.  Plus it was exciting to learn that Nascha's grand-nephew would also be taking center stage soon.  (3 STARS)

1. Starstruck
2. There's Something About Ari
3. Hell on Wheels
4. Lone Wolf
5. The Burnt Toast B&B
6. Lights, Camera, Cupid
7. Wedding Favors (Coming April 2015)
8. The Deep of the Sound (Coming June 2015)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015